Dublin Villager

Second year of DCVB's Irish Experiences grants awarded

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau is working to up the Irish attitude in the city.

The bureau, in partnership with the city, recently awarded $12,850 in grants to seven organizations that will create 34 Irish experiences this year.

The Irish Experiences grant program was invented by the DCVB last year after hearing input from visitors.

"We did research from visitors on the brand Irish is an Attitude to see if it's working," said Scott Dring, Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.

"Visitors were disappointed with the amount of Irish experiences in Dublin once they got here.

"Apart from St. Patrick's Day and the Dublin Irish Festival, there was not as much stuff as they would have hoped."

In the initial year, $15,000 in grants were given out, creating 47 new Irish experiences.

Dring counted the inaugural year of grants as a success.

"One great example is the Embassy Suites did an Irish New Year's (celebration)," he said.

"They had Irish dancers, Irish music (and) movies.

'They decorated the Embassy Suites and sold out the hotel on New Years Eve," Dring said.

"Not a lot of people are spending a night in a hotel on New Year's. It was a great success story."

This year's grant winners include Tehku Tea with performances by the Ladies of Longford and Irish cooking classes slated and an Irish Sunday at Scioto concert from the Dublin Arts Council.

The Historic Dublin Business Association also received a grant for Jig Thursdays.

"We're actually shifting towards more specific themes for each jig month besides the usual come out and celebrate Irish culture," said Robert Smith, Historic Dublin Business Association coordinator.

Another grant will help provide an Irish wine tasting, Irish cooking demonstration and food at Whole Foods.

Other grants will help fund Holly Days in Historic Dublin on Dec. 6, a Practice Patrick's event Sept. 13 and entertainment at Brazenhead.

Ha'penny Bridge Imports of Ireland also received funding for an "Irish themed program for Saturday afternoons," said Al Gleine, owner.

Some of the grants are repeats from last year, which fits the goal of the program, Dring said.

"The concept is to maybe help the first couple of years so these businesses can create these programs and then be self-sufficient and self-funded," he said.

"We get these folks to see the positive impact and the benefit of it."

The Convention and Visitors Bureau also works to help grant winners by marketing the Irish experiences to visitors.

"Once we get this kind of information at our fingertips, it gives us another tool to sell Dublin," Dring said.

For more information on Irish experiences in Dublin, look at irishisanattitude.com.

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