CHICAGO, IL – Grant awards ranging from $15,000 to $500,000 have been awarded to 89 tourism-related projects across Illinois through the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program last week.
The total amount of the grant funding is $22.5 million, with an average award of $250,000. The grants are designed to support local festivals and attractions and drive tourism across the state.
The additional funding of $7.5 million was secured during the Illinois General Assembly legislative session in early January 2023, and the program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Recipients announced Friday include the City of Aurora, which received $192,779 for the Aurora Festival of Lights and $43,471 for Christkindlmarket funding. The City of Chicago, received $500,000 for the Taste of Chicago, and the Magnificent Mile Association, which received $329,603 for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
One of the unique projects that received funding is the World’s Largest Monopoly Game, which was awarded $40,000 for purchase and installation on the grounds of the McDonough County Courthouse in Macomb by the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. As of 2022, the world’s largest permanent Monopoly game was built in 1992 at San Jose’s Discovery Meadow as part of the San Francisco Landscape and Design Show.
A full list of awards winners can be found here.
The Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program is providing grant funding for a broad range of tourism-related improvements, events, and activities. This builds upon $10 million in funding provided to 40 localities across the state through the first round of the grant program.
Governor JB Pritzker said the program was a vital part of the success of the state’s tourism industry, as it restored and enhanced the great events across the state that draw visitors from around the world. Illinois is prioritizing investing in its thriving tourism industry while driving millions of visitors to choose Illinois for their next trip.