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Quilt festival attracts up to 3,500 people


Initial reports indicate that the 2012 Shipshewana Quilt Festival may have attracted up to 3,500 people this year. This was the second year for the event and last year’s registrations reached 2,700. Final numbers for this year’s attendance will be drawn together this week.

    “It was a success,” said Beth Thornburg, LaGrange County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) executive. “We were extremely busy and can see some things that need to be changed for next year to enhance the program.”

    It was noted that one busload of people came from the European countries of Sweden, Germany and Holland. One hundred fifty-three quilts were on display plus some 43 antique quilts. Seminars and hands-on programs were held throughout the community.

    Danny Graber Photography is currently taking pictures of the 37 barn quilts that are or will soon be in place. Once the photography is complete, a new map will be developed showing the location of the barn quilts throughout LaGrange County.

    Thornburg announced that both people and telephone traffic is up a great deal at the CVB’s new location. The CVB Board authorized Thornburg to hire additional seasonal help to assist with this “great problem to have.”

    A group of people with vintage tractors will be in the area July 26 and 27. An estimated 25 vehicles will be on tour through the county during these days. Plans are to tour west of Shipshewana Thursday and east of Shipshewana through Emma and Topeka on Friday.

    A partnership marketing request of $20,000 was approved with the Shipshewana Retail Merchants Association (SRMA). The plan approved includes $2,500 for advertising in the 2013 Indiana Festival Guide and $17,500 for billboard advertising. The advertising will cover the five main festival events in Shipshewana (Pajama Sale, Mayfest, Crafter’s Fair, Christmas and Ice Carvers Event).

    A request for $650 from the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail for promotion of the 13th annual bike ride was also approved.

    A discussion was held regarding a video proposed by the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC is proposing to collaborate with the CVB on a video that will help to generate visits to LaGrange County, including overnight stays, while at the same time generating new investment into the county.

    Reception to the idea was positive and EDC was invited to make a more complete presentation. The project is estimated to cost from $4,500 to $7,000 for a two-day shoot, editing and voice overlay.