Editor’s Note: The headline of the print edition implies that the tourist creation is creating a commemorative plate. That is not accurate. The commission agreed to pay the fee to create the plate. The 250th anniversary committee will actually design the plate, which will be manufactured by the state.
The Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission discussed the city’s 250th anniversary, which happens in two years.
Billy Rankin of the 250th marketing committee appeared at the tourist commission’s regular board meeting last Wednesday. Rankin told the board the 250th committee was hoping to get $36,500 from the tourist commission for marketing and promotional initiatives in the next fiscal year.
Rankin said the 250th committee hope to not only attract tens of thousands of people to Mercer County, but also to use that as leverage for years to come.
“It’s just as much about the future as the past,” Rankin said.
The original plans for the 250th anniversary involved celebrations over the entire calendar year, but the current plan is to focus on one week in June 2024, said Rankin, who asked the tourist commission to budget in for the activities over the next two years.
“Count on financial support from us,” said Tim Kazimer, chair of the tourist commission board of directors. He said the board has been preparing for the 250th anniversary.
“We don’t have allocated funds for it, but we are, as a commission, prepared to help you,” Kazimer said.
Bob Gigliotti, the treasurer for the tourist commission, asked about other sources of revenue. Rankin said they had approached the county and the city and will also seek sponsorships for events. Rankin said they will request funding for the down payments and retainers, which will need to be put down in the next fiscal year.
The 250th committee is asking for an additional $156,000 for marketing.
In addition, the 250th committee wants to do a commemorative license plate, which will be promoted as an option costing up to $45. Some of the revenue from the plates go to 250th committee.
The tourist commission agreed to pay up the fee of up to $5,000 for the specialty plate.