The Athens State University Foundation has been awarded a grant of $5,200 from the Alabama Tourism Department thanks to the support of Representative Andy Whitt.
Funds will be used to support the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention, which is held each October and brings some 10,000 individuals to the Athens-Limestone County, Alabama area. Funds will also be used to support the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Concert Series, a year-long series of concerts that coordinates with the annual Convention.
Both events draw visitors from outside the state of Alabama to the small town of Athens. The local economy benefits from these events as guests eat, shop, and participate in local business.
The 2022 Tourism Legislative Grants Program is designed to attract out-of-state tourists and generate revenues by promoting attendance at communitywide special events. Each Alabama State Representative received five $2,600 grants, and each State Senator received ten $3,900 grants. Since out-of-state visitors typically spend more money than local attendees, events with the potential of generating the highest returns to the state’s economy and bringing tourists from other states were given the highest priority.
“We are extremely appreciative to Representative Whitt for selecting the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention for this grant,” said Dr. Keith Ferguson, Vice President for University Advancement at Athens State University and accepting official for the Athens State University Foundation. “The Fiddlers Convention is a special event that is highly anticipated each year, bringing attendees from across the South, the nation, and even internationally. These funds will help us continue the Fiddlers Convention’s growth and reach an even wider audience.”