The 6th annual Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival got a major shot in the arm recently from the Community Foundation of Portage & District in the form of a $3,000 grant. Foundation executive director Mandy Dubois explains how it came about.
"The Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival applied for grants from the Community Foundation back during our spring granting cycle in 2018," says Dubois. "The grant was specifically to purchase signage they could put up in and around Portage la Prairie to help promote the organization as well as the Festival."
She notes it's the first time the foundation issued a grant to the festival, and it was great to see them apply. Dubois says they like to support all areas in our community, noting this festival is like a hidden gem in our community.
Festival Coordinator Linda Omichinski says it means a lot to them.
"It's allowing us to grow," she explains. "And it's allowing us to have more people hear about the Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival, it's diversity, joy and dance that we bring to the community. So, we're hoping this will attract more people."
Omichinski says signage is always a big part of spreading word about the event, and gives them confidence knowing the community recognizes the part they play here. She says their presence is being established in the Portage area by use of these billboards. Omichinski notes they also have a new logo for the Festival. It's a whooping crane character who is dancing and singing. The grant allowed for five billboards to be purchased along with some directional signage to ensure everyone is able to locate the site.
She explains they've also started a Find the Dance Party which takes place every Thursday night leading up to the Folk Festival. Next Thursday at 8:00 p.m. is the kickoff.
Omichinski adds they're very appreciative for the help.
The Festival takes place August 25th.