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Sacramento Aims To Become The 'City Of Festivals'

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Efforts are underway to bring a lot more excitement to the capital city. Sacramento is now working to become known as a city of festivals.

From the four-day long Aftershock to weekly Concerts in the Park, each year, thousands of people flock to Sacramento festivals.

Now, city leaders are providing new funding to make Sacramento even more fun.

"I think a lot of people are ready to go out and do some fun things," said Mike Testa, CEO of Visit Sacramento.

The city council has approved spending $700,000 to make Sacramento a "city of festivals."

"I think that's great," said Gary Simon.

Simon is the executive director of the annual Juneteenth celebration and plans on applying for some of the money. According to Simon, "$700,000 can go a long way."

The grants will come from federal coronavirus relief funding. The goal is to help local events that were forced to cancel or modify their gatherings due to COVID concerns.

"Fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars, the entire budget was wiped out because we weren't able to produce any events," Simon said.

So how can funding festivals help the community?

"Events are not always money makers, so you're dependent on the budget that you have," Testa said. "If you can get an infusion of cash, what that does is it brings new people to the event that may not have been to it before and it brings new dollars to the event."

Many of Sacramento's previous festivals have been concentrated in the central city, but this funding will be distributed to events in all eight city council districts.

"With the addition of this, these dollars they can spread that money around through individual communities," Simon said.

Simon says about 70 local vendors benefit from his annual event.

"It's an economic engine," he said.

And now there's a new pot of money to help bring back the parties lost in the pandemic.

"When you look ahead at the calendar, certainly some hope on the horizon for good things coming," Testa said.

The city will begin accepting applications next month for festivals that take place between June and December of this year.

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