What has the Tourist Commission done for Mercer County in 2021?
Established in 1979, the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission has had a goal of promoting Mercer County and all of the things our community has to offer. After Covid-19 put a lockdown on travel in most of 2020 and some of 2021, the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission decided that in 2021 it was time to look toward a new identity and direction with how to promote the place we call home.
So far in 2021, the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission has reserved funds of almost $400,000 to give grants to community organizations and events. Some of the events the HMCTC has designated grants to are as follows: Oktoberfest, Fort Harrod Jazz Festival, Pioneer Days, Mercer County Fair and Horse Show, Cruz on Chiles, A.T.O.M. Fest, Buy Local Block Party and Christmas on Main. Along with those events, the HMCTC has given grants to the following organizations: Harrodsburg First, Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, Anderson-Dean Community Park, Friends of the Fort and Ragged Edge Community Theatre. We have also designated money to the City of Harrodsburg to help with Flag Maintenance, Lights Maintenance, Olde Towne Park and most recently the new splash pad and playground at Young’s Park.
While we have designated the money for grants this year, the HMCTC has also taken a proactive approach and sat aside $100,000 for future use for upgrades to Old Fort Harrod State Park, as well as set aside money for the upcoming 250th Anniversary Celebration of Harrodsburg in 2024.
While giving grants has been a big portion of what the HMCTC has done in 2021, there has also been a lot of focus on being creative on how we promote Harrodsburg and Mercer County. HMCTC is excited to release our brand new app (Visit Mercer County KY) in the coming weeks, which promotes Mercer County restaurants, hotels/motels, historic lodging, air bnb’s, activities and even tours.
The HMCTC has also put emphasis on trying new creative ways to reach different audiences. We have teamed up with Greer Productions to produce 24 new videos showcasing many of the things we have to offer right here in Mercer County. As of December, there have been 10 videos posted, which have reached over 200,000 people via social media. Speaking of social media, posts from the HMCTC have reached over 770,000 individuals since March of 2021.
The HMCTC has also worked with the Mercer County Health Department on a new week long event in Harrodsburg, called ‘Harrodsburg Burger Week’, which has been delayed until the Spring of 2022.
Along with Burger Week, the HMCTC is working on numerous other projects for 2022, which will help showcase even more of what Mercer County has to offer. We look forward to continuing our work to help showcase all of the many great things we have to offer in Kentucky’s first city.