Tuesday, April 19, 2016


GREENVILLE, OH – The Darke County Visitors Bureau released the names of the recipients of the 2016 Darke County Tourism Grants. This year, three recipients were chosen – The Gathering at Garst, Prairie Days, and YOLO Festival of Races.

“The Gathering at Garst, Prairie Days, and YOLO races all attract folks from miles away to our community,” stated committee member Lisa Martin. “They perfectly fit the grant guidelines and we are fortunate to have events of this caliber right here in Darke County.”

The Gathering at Garst was named “Best Summer Festival” in Ohio for 2016 by the readers of Ohio Magazine and is held the last weekend in July. The Gathering features juried artists, antique dealers, garden exhibits, skilled historical craftsmen, live music, and unique food vendors, and also includes a living history encampment with participants from the French and Indian War through the Civil War. This eclectic mix is set amongst the tree-lined grounds of Garst Museum, which maintains normal operating hours for attendees of the festival. For more information about the Gathering, contact Garst Museum at 937-548-5250 or online at www.gatheringatgarst.com.

Prairie Days is held at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, just outside of Greenville, during the last full weekend of September. Focusing on what pioneer life was like from around 1780-1810, Prairie Days features crafts, games, and trades of the time period, including cooking apple butter and other frontier activities. The event is free to attend and brings in over 4,000 people to the Prairie. For more information about Prairie Days, or to become a member of the Friends of the Darke County Parks, call 937-548-0165.

The YOLO Organization, founded by Phillip and Jodi Pierri, strives to continuously improve the community while bringing together high-energy people to promote healthy lifestyles and to embrace life to the fullest. Phillip and Jodi created the YOLO organization because of their passion to give back to their community. Their events include the YOLO Festival of Races, Poultry Day’s 5K and the YOLO Open. All proceeds from these events will be administrated through the Darke County Foundation. These funds will be used for community projects throughout Darke County that the entire community can enjoy.

Funds are made available to non-profit tourism attractions and organizations sponsoring special events and programs in Darke County. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, with primary consideration given to applications, which: (1) attract overnight visitors; (2) attract visitors from more than 50 miles outside of Darke County and (3) feature new or expanded events or programs.

“The great thing about this grant program is that we are empowering groups to achieve their goal of putting on a successful event, while bringing people into Darke County to experience all of the fantastic things we have here,” said Matthew Staugler, Executive Director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. “We had a lot of strong applicants this year, and we encourage other organizations to continue to innovate and apply for the grant next year.”

To learn more about these events as well as other festivals and activities taking place in Darke County, please visit www.VisitDarkeCounty.org.

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