What does Quad Area celebrate? French Canadian Heritage; Blue Heron Rookery,
Fall —just to name a few themes for festivals held annually throughout the state.
All these goings on are part of what makes the Quad Area a great place to live. Besides being fun, well-managed festivals and events offer a host of economic and social benefits to communities.
The benefits are similar to those for tourism, in general, according to Ingrid Schneider, Director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center. "Tourism has the opportunity to bring communities together and instill a sense of community pride and knowledge of their history," she says.
The economic benefits of festivals are easiest to see and most often cited–festivals attract visitors, which stimulates the growth of tourism and other businesses in a town or region.
The social benefits of festivals are less visible, but they are just as important. Building on Schneider's observation, it's fair to say that festivals foster community pride, teach people new things, and strengthen relationships.
But hosting festivals also poses challenges. There are risks and costs related to the effort. A star performer might not show up, or the stage might collapse. Insurance can cover financial risk, but reputational damage is harder to address.
Substitute "festivals" for "tourism," and Schneider nicely frames the challenge to communities: "We need to be very careful about the product we have for Minnesota's tourism and make sure it's sustainable."
Boosting the economy
Fostering community pride
- Teaching new things
- Strengthening relationships
- Value of training
If you would like to be more involved in Community Festivals in your community contact the Chamber at Events@quadareachamber.org