Fehr Graham helped the City of Rockford secure $500,000 in funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant Program.
This grant is part of a $22.5 million investment into almost 90 local tourism festivals and attractions across Illinois. Gov. JB Pritzker announced the awards that will fund 89 projects across the state.
Rockford's grant will help construct the Great Lawn Open Canopy Stage at Davis Park along the Rock River. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 million. The City will provide matching funds from the Rockford Redevelopment Fund. This will allow the City to complete Phase I development of Davis Park, which can accommodate 4,000 people, helping the site live up to its potential of serving as Rockford's central gathering and entertainment destination.
Illinois is the best place in the nation to visit, and now that people are finding that out through our marketing, our tourism economy is booming. The Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program has been a vital part of that success by restoring and enhancing the great events across our state that draw visitors from around the world. When we invest in projects like these — it reverberates beyond just one event or exhibit. It benefits entire communities — from small business owners who get to attract more customers to families with young children who get to enjoy all that Illinois has to offer."
JB Pritzker, Governor
The $22.5 million in Illinois Tourism Attractions and Festivals grants provides funding to municipalities and park districts, organizations and businesses for a broad range of tourism-related improvements, events and activities. This builds upon $10 million in funding that was provided to 40 localities across the state in 2022, the first round of the program. Combined with Illinois' largest-ever tourism campaign, Middle of Everything, the state is prioritizing investing in its thriving tourism industry while driving millions of visitors to choose Illinois for their next trip.
Fehr Graham has worked with the City of Rockford to facilitate and incorporate a plan for Davis Park to enhance the park's aesthetics, increase park use, and complement planned and future land uses. Phase I of the Davis Park redevelopment include constructing boat docks, restrooms, a concession stand, sunning beach, a native planting garden, skate park, splash pad, walking paths, play areas and the Great Lawn Open Canopy Stage.
Grant awards range from $15,000 to $500,000, with an average award of $250,000 for a total of $22.5 million. A link to the full list of recipients can be found here.
To learn more about how Fehr Graham's funding experts can help your community, contact us or call 815.235.7643.