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Tourist Commission Receives $97,000 In ARPA Funding

The board of directors of the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission at the grand opening of the gift shop at the Diamond Point Welcome Center in June. From left: Bob Gigliotti, Tia King Taylor, Joan Huffman, Assistant Executive-Director Garnie Yeager, Executive Director Daarik Gray, David Coleman and Tim Kazimer. (File image).

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission has been awarded over $97,000 in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to advertise the city and promote its attractions, according to a press release.

“We are excited to receive this funding from the state of Kentucky. These funds will allow us to continue marketing Mercer County and promote it as a destination,” said Daarik Gray, executive director for the tourist commission. “We have so many wonderful festivals, historic places and not to mention Herrington Lake, why wouldn’t people want to spend time here.”

According to the release, the funding will be used to create and distribute a multimedia campaign and to host events and activities that will help attract visitors to Mercer County.

The tourist commission is the official tourism organization for the city and county working to promote Mercer County as a top destination for tourists and to support the local economy through tourism, stated the release.

In March 2022, the tourist commission received $18,742 in funding from the state, one of 103 tourism and destination marketing organizations in 88 Kentucky counties that received a total of $5.3 million in funding.

Tourism is a $8.9 billion industry, according to the state, which supports economic growth in both rural and urban communities in Kentucky. In June 2022, the tourist commission approved a budget worth more than $1 million, which includes $862,100 in total marketing expenses, with more than $558,000 in sponsorships and grants. Among the recipients are the Harrodsburg First Main Street Development Program, Oktoberfest, Anderson-Dean Community Park, the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer Days, the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival and the City of Harrodsburg, which was projected to receive $32,500, including $25,000 for light maintenance, $8,000 for Olde Towne Park and $1,000 for flag maintenance. Other recipients included the Friends of the Fort, Ragged Edge Community Theatre, Cruz on Chiles, A.T.O.M. (A Thing On Main) Fest, the 250th Celebration, the Art Council Of Mercer County and Broadway-Juneteenth.Tourist commission

More information, along with the link to download the tourist commission’s APP, can be found at

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