The Sister Bay Advancement Association is putting the cherry on top of 2018 with their second-annual New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop. With help from a $12,536 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Sister Bay is looking to promote the event to new target markets across Wisconsin. The New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop features family-friendly activities and concludes with the dropping of a seven-foot round, 300-pound red cherry at midnight.
“We are thrilled to support Sister Bay in their efforts to expand this event that promotes family fun and Door County’s famous cherries.” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “The New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop will attract visitors to the area during the quieter shoulder travel season, which will create a positive economic impact in the surrounding community.”
For the second year, the New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop offers activities throughout the day such as shopping, ice skating, live entertainment and a fireworks show. The midnight cherry drop puts a local spin on the time-honored tradition of the New York’s Times Square Ball Drop by promoting the area’s popular cherry orchards. The celebration is expected to attract 1,700 attendees, generating an estimated $144,000 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards print, radio, digital and outdoor advertising to attract visitors from the Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas.
“We are honored that the Wisconsin Department of Tourism has awarded us this JEM Grant for the New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop event,” said Louise Howson, SBAA Community Coordinator. “The grant will make a big difference in our ability to attract visitors outside of Door County and make a solid impact on our local economy.”
In 2017, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20.6 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from 2016. Tourism activity supports 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin, a seven-year addition of more than 23,255 jobs to the state’s total employment, an increase of 13.5%. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Door County reached $456.9 million, supporting 3,225 jobs and more than $38 million in state and local taxes.
In fiscal 2018, the Department funded 56 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $74 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 industry.travelwisconsin.com.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun 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: www.travelwisconsin.com.