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Potato Blossom Festival Receives Grant Money; Plans Moving Forward for 2021 Festival in Fort Fairfield


By:  Cheryl Boulier

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 16, 2020


   As Director of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, I'm excited to announce that we have been awarded $10,000 in grant funding from the Maine Office of Tourism. This grant is targeted as a Marketing Grant and will enable us to promote the Festival in a much broader area overall which we hope will attract more visitors to not only our Festival but to our area as well.

   The grant will be utilized towards the following: Advertisement: (local media, print, FB ads, magazine ads (Down East Maine) and other promotional opportunities.

   Fulfillment: Brochures, flyers, Guides, maps & distribution in all State Information Centers heading north.

   Photography: We will be able to hire a professional photographer to provide photo's that can be used to better promote the festival as well as our area. A picture is worth a thousand words and we want to draw visitors to our area by giving them a glimpse of the many tourist attractions available in Aroostook County as well as the beauty of the countryside.

   This grant comes at a vital time for our Festival due to the fact we had to cancel this year’s event which caused a shortfall in the revenue we could have achieved with several of our events. This funding will enable us to work towards the success of the 2021 73rd Maine Potato Blossom Festival.

   We greatly appreciate the Maine Office of Tourism for supporting our goals for the 2021 Festival through awarding us this grant funding.

   As Director it is one of my responsibilities to ensure there is enough funding to not only support all our long standing premier events with the Festival but to also help grow this now 73 year long tradition that celebrates our Agricultural roots here in the County.

      We are so very grateful for our faithful sponsors and many volunteers who have supported this long standing event and help provide the much needed revenue to support over (80) events and all that it takes to make them happen.

   Grant funding is another added support system to enable events like the Festival to continue to be successful. As your Director I’m always looking for added opportunities for funding for the Festival to meet our goals for the upcoming 2021 Festival.

   I have recently entered into a partnership with the Quality of Place Committee in applying for another grant with the Maine Ag in the Classroom. In order to apply for some grants you have to be a 501 (3) C Non-profit status which is the Festival is not on its own. With the grant application with the Maine Office of Tourism, municipalities were eligible to apply, which where the festival is considered under the Town of Fort Fairfield, we could apply. But not with the Maine Ag in the Classroom grant application as it is only available to a non-profit organization which the Quality of Place Committee is classified as having that status. So I’m most grateful to the Committee in agreeing to support me in applying for this grant funding.

   This funding will be used to support a new event for the 2021 Festival, called “A family Day on the Farm” This will be a similar interactive educational exhibit to the Lil Farmers at the Northern Maine Farm.

   We hope to be able to provide an added educational hands on experience about Agriculture and where our food comes from and the vital role our farmers play in the food we have on our tables every day. This will be for ages K-12 and be held in conjunction with our annual Family night.

   For every Agricultural License Plate that is sold in the State of Maine, $10 goes into a special fund that is given back in a form of grants to support educational programs with Agriculture.

   Again I appreciate the Quality of Place Committee being willing to support this grant application. This Committee has been so very supportive over the years in the overall betterment of the Town of Fort Fairfield including the Maine Potato Blossom Festival.

   We are moving ahead with plans for the 2021 Festival with the hope that things will be much more positive then and we can once again gather together and celebrate.

   So looking forward to the 73rd Maine Potato Blossom Festival being held on July 17th-25th, 2021 in the host community of Fort Fairfield, Maine.