Prowers Lodging Panel Okays Funding for Lamar Days


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Marketing expenses associated with this year’s Lamar Days, May 16-18, were approved by the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel during their monthly meeting, Tuesday, March 18.  The three day annual event highlights Lamar’s anniversary and the Lamar Chamber of Commerce was granted $2417.47 of their $2,780 request as the balance, $362.53, was being reimbursed to the Panel.  Bobbi Ketels, Chamber Manager explained that some unused funding was to be returned to the Panel, and members said that could be used as a balance on their Lamar Days request.  Chamber member Tera Binder and Ketels said some new additions to this year’s events at Willow Creek Park included dancing and tumbling, a special presentation from the Lamar Fire Department and downtown shopping promotions through a ‘night on the town.’  There will not be a carnival planned for this year.  A contract fee of $1,500 for the Draft Horse Obstacle Course and Wagon Rides, affiliated with Lamar Days, was also approved by a separate vote. 

$1,500 requested for posters and postage for the 3rd annual 9/11 Tribute was approved.  What began as a tribute to military veterans and first responders held at the Prowers County Courthouse two years ago, with about 150 attending, expanded into a well-attended parade down Main Street featuring response outfits from around the region in 2013.  Vendors were set up at the fairgrounds, a BBQ was held, and several speakers were featured during a patriotic ceremony and award presentation.   

Because of an anticipated larger turnout this September for what will now be a two day event, the parade route is being planned for South 6th Street to Cedar Street and then to 9th Street into the fairgrounds.  CDOT only allows a highway to be closed to traffic for an hour during a parade, and last year’s event took approximately 45 minutes.  Because of last year’s Front Range floods, some responder units were not able to attend.  The lineup for this year’s parade may easily exceed last year’s participation which will require a different route.  Carla Scranton said homeowners along the proposed new route will be asked to decorate their homes and trees with ribbons.  Additional new plans for the annual event includes a concert at the Courthouse on Friday, September 12, coupled with the annual Fall Festival downtown.  The formal ceremonies will be moved up to 2pm on Saturday, September 13th this year, to help streamline the observances.  

The Panel received $19,607.96 from the state, derived from the 2% tax levied on motel rooms in the county over the last quarter.  Panel members continued to discuss ways in which to inform county groups, individuals or organizations about the Panel’s funding mission, to help finance marketing and advertising budgets for activities or events which will help bring overnight visitors into Prowers County.  The other side of the coin is the ability to hold funded organizations accountable to provide accurate numbers of overnight visitors their events attract.  The Prowers Lodging Tax Panel meets the third Tuesday of every month at the PCDI offices at the RodeWay Cow Palace Inn.  Groups requesting information regarding event advertising funding can call PCDI at 719-336-2384.

By Russ Baldwin


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