After much discussion during a Carbon County Commission meeting on Wednesday, commissioners made the decision to award $5,000 to the Helper Light Parade Committee.
Parade director Mark Montoya approached commissioners with a request for donation at the meeting. Balance Rock Eatery and Pub owner Cindi Curry, Helper City Mayor Ed Chavez and former mayor Dean Armstong also pleaded for money to make the 25th year of the light parade the best yet.
Montoya explained that the committee originally requested $2,000 from the county, but were only granted $50. He stated that with a larger donation, the light parade, which will grace Main Street on Dec. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m., can be bigger, better and bring more tourists to the area.
“We would like to embellish our town to draw more tourists,” Montoya explained.
At the meeting, the light parade committee requested $10,000 from the county to celebrate Christmas this year in Helper. Montoya explained that because of the recent generosity to the coal rally, he was hoping some funds would still be available for the light parade. Commissioners recently donated $30,000 to the coal rally that will take place on Oct. 23.
Commissioners were firm about knowing the exact way funds would be spent. Montoya and Chavez explained that bringing a bigger crowd to Helper was the focus of this year’s celebration, which would benefit the entire county.
“It brings in a lot of people from out of the area,” said the mayor. “People from outside of the area utilize hotels throughout the county.”
Commissioners made the decision to award the light parade committee $5,000 for advertising throughout Utah to draw tourists to Carbon County. The funds will come from restaurant tax generated in the county to promote tourism in the area.
The following video further explains what the committee will use the money for and where the funds will come from.
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