Buda City Council awards $10K to Crawfest

By CJ Vetter

BUDA – On April 5, the City Council of Buda awarded a $10,000 reimbursement to Happy Hobo LLC for the advertisement of Buda Crawfest. 

The reimbursement is to assist with the cost of advertising the event, which will be hosted at the Buda amphitheater. As part of the Hotel Occupancy Reimbursement grant, or HOT, the organization was able to receive up to $10,000 in reimbursement to promote tourism, as well as enhance local hotel and convention industries.

The amount awarded to Happy Hobo LLC was originally requested to be $7,500 for advertising and $2,500 for artist fees related to the performers that attended the event. However, the council voted to allocate the entire budget towards advertising; due to Texas law, there is a yearly cap on the amount of money that can be spent on art and culture from the city budget, in which the $2,500 would count towards. 

“When using occupancy tax, you can only use 15% percent of the tax on arts and cultures,” said Lysa Gonzalez, Destination Services Director. “We calculated it all out, but moving forward, if people are asking for artist fees, we have to consider it because there’s only so much you can spend overall.”

The cap on money also extends to other Buda-related events, most notably Red, White, and Buda, as well as the recent Budafest. Projections state that there is an approximately $140,000 cap on the amount that can be spent from revenue on arts and culture projects.

This is following the Crawfest event that occurred in February, and was proposed as the second part of the event to end the crawfish season in May. The first event had over 2,500 people in attendance, with an additional 60 nights’ worth of hotel reservations, and offered live music, cornhole, boutique vendors, a kid zone, and of course, plenty of crawfish.

“In a lot of ways, this is year one for a lot of these events coming into the amphitheater,” said council member Matt Smith.

The event’s success was calculated by post-entrance surveys, where attendees were asked questions, such as if they stayed for multiple nights, or if they were planning to see other attractions in the area. The city also took steps to ensure that the internal organizations of the city didn’t give overlapping money to the event.  

For information about the grant, visit www.ci.buda.tx.us or www.budacrawfest.com. 

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