Dept. of Tourism: Gandy Dancer Festival received $18,800 tourism grant


Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

608-266-0458; [email protected]

Daniel Viste, Mazomanie Regional Heritage Foundation

608-575-9390; [email protected]

Over 3,000 visitors expected this weekend with help of marketing grant

MAZOMANIE, Wis. (August 16, 2012) – The Mazomanie Regional Heritage Foundation is looking to draw more visitors to the Gandy Dancer Festival & Celebrate the Circus this weekend, August 18-19, with the help of a $18,800 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant. Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist Patrick Reinsma presented the check today. The festival estimates an economic impact of $423,750 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores.

“With a charming downtown, 32 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the outstanding Gandy Dancer Festival, Mazomanie is a true hidden gem,” said Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “This grant will help more travelers discover the charm and top notch hospitality of Mazomanie this weekend, creating positive economic impact for the community.”

Tourism expenditures in Dane County totaled $893.7 million in 2011, up 9.2% from 2010, and directly employed over 18,900 people in the county. Grant funds went to market the event using print, TV and online advertisements as well as a public relations plan.

The Gandy Dancer Festival, in its fifth year, has attracted over 10,000 visitors to the downtown area since 2008. This family-focused festival features live music, a variety of interactive children’s activities such as an art yard with the Madison Children’s Museum, and new this year, Celebrate the Circus, with a recreation of the Ringling Brothers’ Classic and Comic Concert Company including the world famous Amahl Puppets from Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England. For more information on the event, please visit

In fiscal 2011, the Department funded 53 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.2 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $20 million.

“Full of rich history, the railroad and circus are the icons of our community,” said Dan Viste, President of the Mazomanie Regional Heritage Foundation. “The Amazing Mazo event will celebrate both and we’re excited to share them with travelers.”

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The State can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: