Tuesday, April 11, 2017


GREENVILLE, OH – The Darke County Visitors Bureau released the names of the recipients of the 2017 Darke County Tourism Grants. This year, four recipients were chosen – The Gathering at Garst, Versailles Poultry Days, Main Street Greenville’s Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, and the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum’s Run for the Rails 5K.

“The Gathering at Garst, Versailles Poultry Days, the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, and the Run for the Rails 5K all attract visitors from miles away to our communities,” stated committee member Andrea Jordan. “We made some changes to the criteria to allow smaller events a better opportunity at funding, and are thrilled to be able to give them a step-up to greater growth potential and overall success.”

The Gathering at Garst was named “Best Summer Festival” in Ohio for 2016 & 2017 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.

Versailles Poultry Days is one of the longest-running community festivals in the state of Ohio. This year’s event takes place June 9-11, 2017. Last year, Poultry Days set a record for the number of chicken dinners sold, at 26,500. The festival features an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, parades, the Miss Chick and Little Miss Poultry Days pageant, vendors, games, rides, exhibits, and a 5K. The festival is held at 459 S. Center St. in Versailles. For more information, visit www.versaillespoultrydays.com.

Main Street Greenville’s Hometown Holiday Horse Parade is quickly becoming one of the premier holiday events in the state of Ohio, attracting several thousand residents and guests to downtown Greenville. The parade features an average of eighty lighted horse entries. In 2015, the parade was named “Best Parade in Ohio” by the readers of Ohio Magazine. This year, downtown businesses have collaborated to hold a holiday open house the entire weekend in conjunction with the horse parade. 2017 will be the 14th annual installment of the parade. For more information on the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade and Main Street Greenville, call 937-548-4998 or visit www.mainstreetgreenville.org.

The Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum’s Run for the Rails 5K is one of the fastest-growing 5K events in the area, with over 70 applicants participating last year. The Run for the Rails 5K supports the mission of the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum, which is to preserve the history and memory of Bradford’s rich railroad history. This year’s 5K takes place October 14, 2017. The museum is currently undergoing a $460,000 renovation and expansion, and will be available to view after the 5K this year. For more information on the museum, visit www.bradfordrrmuseum.org.

The Tourism Grant Program is designed to enable event organizers to be more successful by subsidizing their marketing budgets to reach more potential visitors. Funds are available to non-profit organizations sponsoring special events and programs in Darke County. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

“This is our ninth year of distributing these grant funds, and every year we get better and higher quality events competing for these dollars,” 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. It’s our goal to continue to help other organizations be successful with their events.”

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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