Poster Title

The Economic Impact of Festivals in Winchester, Kentucky

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Recreation and Park Administration

2nd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

2nd Student Major

Recreation and Park Administration

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

79; 81

KY Senate District #

13; 34

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

To date, there are a limited number of studies regarding the economic impact and community engagement of festivals in rural communities of the United States. Acknowledging strained finances of many rural Kentucky communities, researchers sought to determine if festivals provide economically viable benefits to rural Kentucky communities. This study estimates the economic impact and reports the visitor satisfaction of two festivals in Winchester, Kentucky, a rural community in central Kentucky’s Clark County.

The survey instrument targeted festival related visitor expenditures in Winchester and Clark County, as well as visitor satisfaction with the festival, vendors, and the host city. The economic impact results were positive, indicating that it is worth the investment of communities to hold these festivals. In addition to the economic impact, the visitor satisfaction results were positive.

The total economic impact of festivals is greatly influenced by the number of days the festival is held and whether or not visitors are required to seek overnight lodging in the host community. Results of this study show that while the investment of time and personnel to host a festival is significant, that festivals contribute positively to the economy of the community.

Previous research finds that through economic development, the additional income from festivals allows communities flexibility to pursue other endeavors. As such, the economic impact of festivals directly influences community well-being and engagement. Through hosting festivals, rural communities are positioned to bolster their financial health, and in turn, are positioned to invest directly into the well-being of their community through revitalization efforts and inspiring future investment in community services.

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The Economic Impact of Festivals in Winchester, Kentucky

To date, there are a limited number of studies regarding the economic impact and community engagement of festivals in rural communities of the United States. Acknowledging strained finances of many rural Kentucky communities, researchers sought to determine if festivals provide economically viable benefits to rural Kentucky communities. This study estimates the economic impact and reports the visitor satisfaction of two festivals in Winchester, Kentucky, a rural community in central Kentucky’s Clark County.

The survey instrument targeted festival related visitor expenditures in Winchester and Clark County, as well as visitor satisfaction with the festival, vendors, and the host city. The economic impact results were positive, indicating that it is worth the investment of communities to hold these festivals. In addition to the economic impact, the visitor satisfaction results were positive.

The total economic impact of festivals is greatly influenced by the number of days the festival is held and whether or not visitors are required to seek overnight lodging in the host community. Results of this study show that while the investment of time and personnel to host a festival is significant, that festivals contribute positively to the economy of the community.

Previous research finds that through economic development, the additional income from festivals allows communities flexibility to pursue other endeavors. As such, the economic impact of festivals directly influences community well-being and engagement. Through hosting festivals, rural communities are positioned to bolster their financial health, and in turn, are positioned to invest directly into the well-being of their community through revitalization efforts and inspiring future investment in community services.