Nelson County Tourism has received a $20,000 grant for its Dark Skies Trail and Nelson WinterMarkt from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
The county is partnering with local attractions and lodging providers to supply more than $17,000 in matching funds for the project, which will create a trail for those wishing to explore the dark skies in Nelson County. The funds will also help create a European Christmas market in November and December.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation awarded more than $2.7 million for 259 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Other area grant recipients were Blue Mountain Barrel House & Organic Brewery, Road Trip to Nelson 29, $5,000; Boars Head Resort’s Winter Wander, $5,000; Center for Independent Documentary’s La Loba Festival, $5,000; Charlottesville and Albemarle County Historic Vines, New Roots, $20,000; Crozet Arts And Crafts Festival, $10,000; Ix Art Park Foundation, Cville Arts Winter Weekends/Charlottesville Arts Festival, $15,000.
Also receiving grants were the Louisa County Chamber of Commerce, Unplug & Play 2.0, $5,000; Louisa County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Happening Around the Corner mobile app, $24,936; Louisa County, Love Ridge Mountain Lodging Launch $10,000; The Front Porch in Charlottesville, Boots and Bling Fall Gala, $4,350; Tom Tom Festival in Charlottesville, $10,000; Virginia Festival of the Wheel, in Charlottesville, $10,000.
“These funds are vital to continuing to add new product to our tourism offerings and our dark skies are an important asset that need to be celebrated and protected," said Nelson County Administrator Stephen A. Carter, in a press release. “The Nelson WinterMarkt will also be a wonderful addition to our holiday programming.”
The tourism corporation’s marketing program aims to help drive overnight visitation and supplement funding for economically significant special events and festivals. The funding is expected to fill more than 125,000 room nights over the next 18 months.