The numbers have been tallied for this year's Kansas Wheat Festival, and they look as good as the wheat fields did before harvest.
Total income for the 112th Annual Kansas Wheat Festival was $67,603.99, combined with the contribution from the City of Wellington, and proceeds from the medallion hunt,, the income was $76,353.99.
"The numbers do look great," Shelley Hansel-Williams, Director at the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB, during the City Council meeting on August 7. "We couldn't have done it without the City." She expressed a "thank you" to the City and it's staff for helping prepare the town for the festival.
"Our expenses this year were close to $50,000, but I'm happy to report that more than $35,000 were spent right back here in Wellington, Kansas," Hansel-Williams continued. "And that I certainly think is key." The remaining $12,000 spent outside of Wellington was for the bands, sound engineers, and port-o-potties.
The total profit for this year's event was $41,107.11, over a $15,000 profit increase from 2011.
"And that money helps us keep the Chamber going for the rest of this year, and then of course into early next year when we get to start this party all over again," Hansel-Williams told the council.
"With the addition of the third person, the Wheat Festival Coordinator in our office, it truely did make a huge difference in this year's Wheat Festival," Hansel-Williams added in reference to a temporary position at the Chamber, originally co-funded by the City and the Chamber.
The position was filled by Nikki Lira, and will continue to be for the next couple of months. Months that will be completely funded by the Chamber.
"Right now Nikki has agreed to stay on, on the Chamber's dime," Hansel-Williams said Friday. "We will not be getting any City money....so the Chamber of Commerce, a private, non-profit, business organization has entered into an agreement to keep Nikki on for at least a couple more months." After a that, the Chamber will re-group and figure out how to proceed.
With the Chamber staff being bigger, so to was this year's festival.
"We had big crowds, I was really happy to see that," said Council Member, Larry Shimer. "All three nights we had nice crowds [downtown] Saturday night was just huge." The Wheat Festival buttons sold out, even after a second batch was ordered. A total of 2,650 buttons were bought, and there nine new events for this year's festival.
"Wellington should be very proud that we are the home of the official Kansas Wheat Festival," Hansel-Williams said at the Council meeting on Tuesday. "We're already starting to plan for next year, and I hope we knock it out of the park again."
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