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Weekend in Norfolk Festival Brought Cash and Visitors to Town

Although the events of the summer have receded far into the past, the activities surrounding the Weekend in Norfolk (WIN) have recently been examined by the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From a survey conducted during and after WIN, the bureau estimates that more than 1,000 people attended, and perhaps as many as 2,000. All of those surveyed said that they would return to WIN next year.

Among the most heavily attended events were the exhibition by the Norfolk Artists and Friends at the Art Barn, the Norfolk Library art exhibit and performances at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

Respondents gave particularly high marks to the quilt exhibit at the Church of Christ, the canoe-building demonstration in the old Corner Store building, the Coast Guard Band concert and the tour of White House.

While 40 percent of those who responded to the survey were from Norfolk, another 40 percent were from other towns in Connecticut, including Torrington, Winsted, Hartford and New Haven; the remaining 20 percent were from out of state.

The visitors bureau’s estimated that visitors to the festival spent between $30,000 and $70,000. The total economic impact of that spending was set at $60,000 to as much as $120,000.

The primary organizers for last year’s WIN festival were Sue Frisch, Holly Gill and Ruth Melville, working with many adjunct helpers and organizations. Frisch says that she would like to see WIN happen again next year but that she will need a new team, as the other two members of her core committee have begged off for 2017. Frisch also points to the need for adequate funding to pay for advertising and publicity.

The results of the WIN survey will be presented in detail at the next meeting of the EDC, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11 at Town Hall.

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