South Jacksonville Provides Tourism Grants to 2023 Jacksonville Speedway Season, Prairieland Chautauqua

By Benjamin Cox on March 9, 2023 at 9:35am

The Village of South Jacksonville has made contributions to two major tourism events for the summer and fall season.

The Board of Trustees recently approved two tourism grants totaling $17,500.

Village President Dick Samples said during last Thursday’s board meeting that the village will be making its annual contribution to promote the village’s hotels during the 2023 Jacksonville Speedway season. Samples says the $15,000 grant will go towards the placement of 5-6 banners around the racetrack that promote the villages hotels. He says the banners do not mention the Village of South Jacksonville, but the hotels only because the hotel-motel tax they pay to the village is what finances the signage and he believes they deserve the promotion.

The Speedway is tentatively set to begin its racing season on April 21st and run through nearly every weekend until October 14th. Jacksonville Speedway manager Ken Dobson said in a recent Facebook post that the final promotional schedule for the 2023 season is still being finalized.

The Village also will be making a $2,500 contribution to the 2023 Prairieland Chautauqua hosted by the Morgan County Historical Society. Chautauqua manager Chad Boehlke asked for a $1,500 contribution at the village’s February board meeting, but Village President Dick Samples asked the board to up the amount because he believed the Chautauqua to be a good cause and this year, the Chautauqua will also be highlighting the 200th Anniversary of the foundation of Morgan County.

The Chautauqua is scheduled for September 1st and 2nd in Nichols Park. Village tourism grants are given annually to organizations and events that promote out-of-town visitors to come visit, stay at the village’s hotels along the I-72 corridor, eat, and shop in South Jacksonville for these annual events in the greater Jacksonville area.