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Easley grants funding to local tourism initiatives

By Staff
Groups in Washington, Beaufort counties benefit
By DAN PARSONS
Staff Writer
Some local tourism initiatives in Washington and Beaufort Counties were given something to be thankful for on Wednesday.
Gov. Mike Easley announced Wednesday that nearly $130,000 in matching grants have been awarded for 29 tourism-based marketing initiatives across the state.
Three of the grants, ranging from $1,800 to $6,750 will benefit area initiatives in Beaufort and Washington counties. The grant amounts were based on each county’s economic tier ranking and are matched by local funds.
Downtown Washington on the Waterfront received $3,400 in grant funding, which will support a promotional piece designed to increase visits to downtown Washington, according to a statement from the Governor’s office issued Wednesday.
The East Coast Drag Boat Association, responsible for the U.S. Grand National Drag Boat Races held annually on the banks of the Roanoke Rive in Plymouth, received a $5,000 grant to publicize that event.
The Washington County Historical Society was awarded a $2,700 grant to promote Living History Weekend, a two-day Civil War festival and reenactment of the battle of Plymouth. The two-day event showcases the last Confederate victory of the war, including a naval demonstration featuring a scale model of the ironclad CSS Ram Albemarle.
The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development coordinates the matching funds grants program. Eligible applicants include destination marketing organizations, local government agencies and non-profit groups with a tourism focus.