Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through ARPA in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 communities selected through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The grant helped each community implement a project and market itself to prospective visitors. These heritage tourism projects gave added value to the economies in each community through a range of projects from murals to walking tours to new monuments and building plaques that all highlight each respective community’s history for residents and visitors. One of the Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grants was awarded to Campbell Main Street in March of 2022 with completion of the project in October of 2022.
Campbell Main Street is the Main Street organization for Campbell, Missouri. Campbell, like many Missouri communities, has unique heritage and traditions that are special to its close-knit community. As part of their community culture, alumni and locals participate in the Campbell High School Annual Alumni Reunion. Campbell Main Street created a festival to correspond with the Annual Alumni Reunion in 2021 with a huge turnout and renewed interest in returning to Campbell for future reunions. 2022 marked the second year for the Campbell Main Street Festival and Campbell Main Street wanted to continue growing what they offered the community and see the recorded sales at downtown businesses, vendors, and food trucks continue to grow at the event.
Through the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism grant the festival, now named Campbell Main Street Festival: Cotton & Camels, included a petting zoo with a live camel, antique and vintage cars, a shuttle, and a display featuring the history of the cotton harvest in Campbell. Why was a live camel important to the event? Well, the camel is the mascot of the Campbell High School that is a main component of the festival as the number of alumni attending increased greatly for 2022. Community feedback was positive as attendees enjoyed the food trucks while alumni loved the cotton exhibit and the live camel. On top of the planned activities by Campbell Main Street, one downtown business held their grand opening during the event.
Leading up to the Campbell Main Street Festival: Cotton & Camels, board members and volunteers of Campbell Main Street were hard at work preparing all the festivities and amenities that would be a part of the event. The whole downtown and surrounding area transformed with fall décor and cotton. Over 300 volunteer hours were contributed in several ways from planting, watering, and caring for planters around town that included cotton seed to reaching out and coordinating with partners and vendors. As a result of the efforts Campbell Main Street Executive Director Jackie Pearson stated, “35 downtown business participated in the festival.”
Through the Campbell Main Street Festival: Cotton and Camels, Campbell Main Street returned to their heritage while also continuing to implement their current Main Street’s family-focused Transformation Strategy.
Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.