State grant helps Pioneer Village

Members of the Barron County Historical Society board of directors accept a $9,143 check from Julie Fox, front row, third from left, to help pay expenses for this year’s Bluegrass Festival Friday through Sunday, Sept 6, 7 & 8, at the museum grounds near Cameron. In the photo are, front row, from left, Tamera Schutz, Dave Armstrong, Fox, Amber Gonske-Wolfe, Kathy Krug, Bev Buckner, Brenda Christenson and Jerry McRoberts. Back row, John Peter, Tim Gerber, Bob Rogers, Lynn Gevens, Mark Dobberfuhll Paul Flottum and Jack Nedland. Photo by Bob Zientara

The Barron County Historical Society has received a $9,143 “joint effort marketing” grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. On hand for the presentation Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019, at Pioneer Village was Julie Fox, regional tourism specialist, of Siren, representing the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and members of the Barron County Historical Society board of directors.

According to Department of Tourism spokesperson Kristina LeVan, Barron County Historical Society and Wisconsin Indianhead Country are partnering to host the 14th annual Cameron Bluegrass Festival and second annual Arts & Crafts Fair Friday through Sunday, Sept. 6, 7 and 8.

This is the second year that the festival has received a grant from the Department of Tourism.

“With help from a $9,143, Joint Effort Marketing Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, organizers are looking to grow the festival and attract bluegrass fans from across the Midwest,” LeVan said in a recent press release.

Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney noted that the event will include “live music, an arts & craft fair. The Pioneer Village Museum Bluegrass Festival shines a light on the different types of art that contribute to Wisconsin’s creative economy,” she said.

The festival also includes nationally and locally known bluegrass bands, music workshops, instrument sales, arts & crafts sales, regional cuisine and children’s activities.

Grant funds help to pay for print, radio, digital and outdoor advertising to promote the event to attendees from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The event is expected to attract 2,000 visitors to the area, generating an estimated $136,832 in visitor spending.

In fiscal year 2019, the Department funded 62 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $61 million.

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 provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit