Hickory Apple Festival

Holly Tonini/for the Observer-Reporter

In this file photo, apples are available for sale from the Dawson Orchard in Eden Valley at the Hickory Apple Festival.

For the first time since its inception in 2002, the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency opened and awarded two cycles of grant applications in a single year.

Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency, and the Washington County commissioners announced the allocations Wednesday morning at the Frank Sarris Public Library, Canonsburg.

Capital projects receiving grants were the McDonald Area Redevelopment Association, $2,355 for a welcome sign at the trail station; Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, $5,700 for a pedestrian walkway; Monongahela Area Historical Society, $4,700 for a welcome sign and ramp for use by people with disabilities; Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, $25,000 to develop an education center display; and Washington County Historical Society, $25,000 for the research and education center project.

The agency designated $14,321 for three marketing programs: Hickory Apple Festival, Oct. 5 and 6, $6,821; Houston Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 11-13, $4,500; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village Frontier Heritage Weekend Sept. 28 and 29 promotional campaign.

Citing Pennsylvania Department and Community and Economic Development figures from 2017, the most recent year available, Kotula called tourism “one of the largest industries in the county with over $700 million in direct visitor spending supporting 6,000 jobs.”

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