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A pilot cycle of the Tourism Grant Program at the Department of Commerce will award nearly $550,000 to help 44 communities across Montana, including Shelby, Valier and Cut Bank, to help boost attendance at events and grow visitor spending.

Grant recipients completed a competitive application cycle earlier this spring and will be reimbursed for event costs related to marketing, temporary infrastructure, facilities, hospitality and signage. The maximum award per event is $25,000.

“Local celebrations, festivals and events – big or small – are important for bringing visitors into Montana communities,” said Commerce Director Tara Rice. “Events like these pull visitors from out of the area into our communities and Main Street businesses. Even a small investment can have a big impact.”

Grant recipients include: in Cut Bank, the Cut Bank Holiday Bazaar was awarded $12,900 and the Montana Fun Weekend was granted $11,047; in Shelby, the Shelby Kite Festival was awarded $4,875; and in Valier, the Lake Frances Triple P: Paddle, Peddle, Pace was awarded $5,835.

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