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Community Celebrations grant program returns after COVID-19 hiatus

The Tompkins County Tourism Program is now accepting applications for the fall 2021 Community Celebrations grant cycle, open through Friday, Sept. 10.  A total of $10,000 in funding is available, with an average award range of $500 to $1,000 per application.

Community Celebrations Grants assist events and programs that are free and open to all and that reflect the unique history and culture of Tompkins County and its residents. In past years, the program has awarded funding to numerous treasured local events, including the Ithaca Festival, Southside Community Center Juneteenth Celebration, Newfield Old Home Days, First Peoples Festival, the Dryden Lake Festival, and International Mud Day at Ithaca Children’s Garden. Over the past 16 months, many events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccinations on the rise and COVID-19 restrictions lifted across the state, the Tourism Program is excited to move forward with the fall 2021 Community Celebrations grant round and assist in bringing the public together again for vibrant experiences that build and inspire our community.  Eligible applicants include local nonprofit organizations and municipal governments.

A free informational workshop for grant applicants will be held Thursday, Aug. 12, 10:30am-12:30pm, via Zoom. Meeting link: Participants will have the opportunity to learn about eligibility requirements, review the application process, ask questions, and connect with other applicants. The workshop is casual and drop-in – no registration or RSVP required – and will be recorded.

Event organizers may visit the Tourism Program’s Grants Available webpage for information on funding criteria and to access the online grant portal. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 10. Questions about the grant application process may be sent to Tourism Program staff at

The Tompkins County Tourism Program annually invests over $2.5 million in local hotel room occupancy tax dollars in community-based tourism to promote economic development and enhance quality of life. Learn more at the Tourism Program website.