TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — After months of canceled gatherings, Tompkins County will once again fund local celebrations and events that bring together county residents.

The Tompkins County Tourism Program is accepting applications for fall Community Celebrations Grants, helping local nonprofits and municipalities fund free public events and programs that reflect the county’s history and culture, a Monday press release reads. 

“We’re really looking at community-organized things that are beloved by people who live throughout the county,” said Nick Helmholdt, principal planner and tourism program director. “The idea is to really make sure we have representation from different communities, whether different locations around the county or different groups.”

The program that has previously funded events ranging from the Ithaca Festival to the Southside Community Center Juneteenth Celebration and the Dryden Lake Festival has $10,000 in funding available for the fall grant cycle, which will remain open until Sept. 10. 

Because of the virus, the last Community Celebrations grant cycle was in fall 2019. But with most state restrictions lifted, Helmholdt said the county feels confident that residents can gather in-person as the tourism program moves forward with the grant round. 

“People have missed these events, having these reasons to see their neighbors and see friends they maybe only see once a year,” Helmholdt said. “We’re excited to be able to offer this type of support and show that we’re confident these types of celebrations can come back.”

Event organizers can visit the Grants Available page for funding criteria information and to access the online grant portal.

Madeline Rosenberg

Madeline Rosenberg is a reporter from The Cornell Daily Sun working The Sun's inaugural summer fellowship at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at