Dare County Tourism Board awards $298,000 to Outer Banks non-profits and municipalities – OBX Today

Dare County Tourism Board awards $298,000 to Outer Banks non-profits and municipalities - OBX Today
(Courtesy outerbanks.org)
At its March meeting, the Dare County Tourism Board unanimously approved the distribution of $298,000 in Event Grants to 29 local Dare County non-profits and two (2) governmental entities, making it easier for these groups to create and hold events that drive overnight visitation to the county during less-than-peak months. For the 2023-24 fiscal year a total of $425,000 was awarded to support the program.

Dare County non-profits and governmental entities may submit Event Grant applications between August 1-15 and February 1-15 annually and must be received no less than four (4) months before the start of the project. To qualify for such a grant, an event must take place between September 7 and June 15 and the intended audience should extend beyond Dare County residents to those who would consider visiting the destination and staying overnight.

“Most events in Dare County are either organized by or benefit local non-profit organizations,” notes Lee Nettles, Executive Director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. “Our Event Grant program is another way that we’re helping to strengthen the connection between residents, visitors, our towns and the important impact that non-profits make in our community.”

Outer Banks Triathlon

Duck Jazz Festival

Lighthouse Maritime Regatta

Event grant recipients from this latest award cycle include:

·      Chicamacomico Historical Association (150th Anniversary of Life Saving Service, 2024 Shuck Hatteras Oyster Festival)

·      Community Care Clinic of Dare (2024 Billfish Tournament)

·      Dare Arts (2024 Outer Banks Veterans Week, 2024 Pride Arts Project, 2024 Surfalorus Film Festival)

·      Eastern Surfing Association (2024 Easterns Surfing Championship)

·      First Flight High School (2024 Good Guys vs. Cancer Basketball Tournament)

·      First Flight Rotary Foundation (2024 Oink & Oyster Roast)

·      Hatteras Community Sailing (2024 Lighthouse Maritime Regatta, 2024 Wind & Waves Maritime Regatta)

·      Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund (2024 Surfin’ Turkey 5K and Puppy Drum Fun Run)

·      Just in Case (2024 Vusic OBX Concert Series, 2024 Fall Concert Series)

·      Nags Head Surf Fishing Club (2024 F. Boyden Youth Fishing Tournament, 2024 Nags Head Surf Fishing Tournament)

·      NC Beach Buggy Association (2024 Red Drum Tournament)

·      OBX Jeep Invasion (2024 OBX Jeep Invasion)

·      OBX Pride (2024 OBX Pridefest)

·      OBX Room in the Inn (2024 12 Bars of Christmas)

·      Outer Banks Conservationists (2024 Island Farm Pumpkin Patch)

·      Outer Banks Home Builders Association (2024 Parade of Homes)

·      Outer Banks Seafood Festival (2024 Outer Banks Seafood Festival)

·      Outer Banks Sporting Events (2024 Outer Banks Marathon, 2024 Outer Banks Triathlon)

·      Peace Garden Project (2024 Outer Banks Environmental Film Festival)

·      Roanoke Island Historical Association (2024 Oyster Shellabration & Cookout)

·      Rogallo Foundation (2024 OBX Brewtag)

·      Soggy Bones (2024 Which Craft Surf Gathering)

·      Town of Duck (2024 Duck Jazz Festival)

·      Town of Manteo (2024 Dare Days)

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Surfalorus Film Festival

OBX Brewtag

“Dare Arts is closing in on 50 years of supporting the arts in our community and our relationship with the Dare County Tourism Board and Outer Banks Visitors Bureau is one of our most cherished partnerships,” explains Jessica Sands, Executive Director at Dare Arts. “The grant support that we’ve received over the years not only helps us enhance the entertainment at our community events but also assists in expanding our marketing reach to out-of-town visitors in the shoulder season months for Outer Banks Veterans Week, the Surfalorus Film Festival and the Dare Arts Pride Project. We’re truly grateful for this support.”

Chuck Still, Executive Director at the Roanoke Island Historical Association, acknowledges that for any non-profit organization, hosting an off-season event on the Outer Banks can present some challenges but the impact of an Event Grant helps to put such groups in a better position to succeed. “The partnership and support shown by the Dare County Tourism Board encourages and empowers us to push beyond the barriers of the calendar with our programming,” he notes. “There would be no Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival or Oyster Shellabration & Cookout without their support.”

Rev. Dr. Michelle Lewis, Founder and Executive Director of the Peace Garden Project organized the inaugural Outer Banks Environmental Film Festival in 2023, which attracted visitors from around the country and the world. “As a small non-profit, grants like the one we are receiving from the Dare County Tourism Board make it possible for us to host a world-class event in one of the most beautiful places on earth.” she says. “Last year, one of our visitors from Thailand said coming to the Environmental Film Festival was the best experience of their life. We are thankful the Tourism Board is supporting our effort to provide this amazing educational opportunity.”