The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

May 10, 2013

Joplin's Boomtown Days canceled for this year

JOPLIN, Mo. — What had become Joplin’s signature festival, Boomtown Days, has been canceled for this year and will be re-evaluated, its organizers said Friday.

Boomtown Days was one of the events to be awarded a city grant for this year to help pay part of the costs of entertainment and advertising, but festival organizers notified the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau they will not use the grant. It amounted to $19,500. The festival was scheduled to be held June 13-15.

Patrick Tuttle, director of the CVB, said there were two factors in the cancellation. He said many of the people involved in putting on the event are involved in Joplin’s recovery from the 2011 tornado. The legal proceedings surrounding the theft of money from the festival account also has affected it.

The festival’s former finance chairwoman, Kim Lester, 54, 5848 Eland Road, pleaded guilty to the theft in September. She admitted to withdrawing $108,000 and putting back about $64,000 before it was noticed. She agreed to pay $40,000 in restitution as part of her plea.

A statement was issued Friday afternoon by the publicity chairwoman, Cameo Harrington, which said, “The event was not held last year due to ongoing legal issues stemming from the 2010 discovery of misappropriation of funds by a former festival committee member. These legal issues have since been resolved and full restitution was made to the festival. However, the committee feels this offers a unique opportunity to re-evaluate the event and find new ways to rebuild the festival into something bigger and better.”

In addition to Boomtown Days, another festival that was awarded a grant, Dogs in Downtown, also has been canceled. That event was to be held May 31-June 1 and would have received $5,000 toward costs.

Patrick Tuttle, the city’s CVB director, said two other organizations have asked for more money and formal proposals will be sought regarding those requests. The CVB board is to take up discussion about it at its next meeting, Tuttle said.

As a result of the Boomtown cancellation, Tuttle said he will hold a public forum in the future to get public opinion. “We will be asking local residents for input into what type of festival they would like to have,” Tuttle said, along with who would help stage the event. “Do we want to resurrect Boomtown Days or do something related to Route 66?”

The Route 66 International Festival will be held in Joplin on Aug. 1-3 this year. It will bring in arts, exhibitors and vendors all involving Route 66 nostalgia. That festival moves to a different city along Route 66 each year.

Grant money

In the meantime, grant applications are available to organizations that will hold events next year in Joplin.

The CVB will accept proposals from those seeking financial assistance to hold events between Nov. 1, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2014.

Applications can be emailed by 5 p.m. Friday, May 31, to the CVB director,; or delivered by mail or by hand by June 14 to the bureau at City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

The bureau annually allocates $100,000 to help pay the costs of holding recreational or entertainment activities that either attract people to stay in Joplin’s motels or bring publicity to the city. Event organizers can request up to $20,000.

Businesses as well as nonprofit organizations may apply. The grants are funded from proceeds of the city’s hotel and motel tax.

The advisory board of the CVB makes recommendations on which events are to be funded and how much they should receive. A public hearing is held each year, usually in August, before the City Council considers the board’s recommendations and makes final authorization.

Last year, the board received applications for more than $183,000 to help fund 11 events put on by 10 organizations.

Funding was awarded last year to a variety of events.

Athletic events included the Joplin Memorial Run, Joplin Outlaws baseball, the Joplin Disc Golf Club, the Rufus Racing Summer Roundup Triathlon, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Bike MS.

Arts events funded are PhotoSpiva and Spiva Center for the Arts ArtWorkers.

Festivals funded are Historic Murphysburg’s DickensFest and the MSSU homecoming celebration.


Rules and eligibility information, along with the grant forms, can be obtained on the CVB’s website at


Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014