The Marketing of Carlisle : Part VI

by Charlie Andrews

Some Possible Future Enterprises?

Historical
• “The Shelling of Carlisle” Reenactment of the shelling of Carlisle by Jeb Stuart’s troops. This could be developed into festival celebrating Carlisle’s historic part in the Civil War. The festival could take place at the Carlisle Fairgrounds and also be developed as a Civil War re-enactors festival (vendors selling uniforms, paraphernalia, workshops, etc.). A festival should be at least a weekend long, and, of course, one of the highlights would be the reenactment of the shelling. The theater could be involved in showing a relevant film such as “Gettysburg.”

• “Washington at Carlisle” A review of the troops, reenacting George Washington’s coming to Carlisle on the way to western Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Again, this could be developed into a festival similar to the one above, only now with a revolutionary theme.

• Revolutionary War Walking Tour: Molly Pitcher, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, spies, and signers of the Declaration of Independence, etc. Historical movies with lecture/discussion afterward. Hotel package with period dinners and Patriot’s Ball, coordinated with the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Carlisle Theater.

The Carlisle Theater
• Theater/Hotel packages – Collaboration between the theater and hotel to coordinate show and movie packages. Object of bringing people and bus groups in for overnight or weekend stays. For example: Arrive Friday at hotel, performance/movie at theater. Saturday seminars/lectures at hotel and theater, gala dinner then show and theater. Sunday brunch, wrap-up and depart. Some packages might be: film festivals (Charlie Chaplin, Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, animation, foreign film, etc.), live shows (Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, one-act play competition, etc.), music (jazz/blues series, acoustic guitar workshop and festival, violin makers festival, etc.)

• An Evening of Jazz at the Carlisle – Blitz Dinette, Steve Rudolph, Jimmy Woods. One of these local groups, even though popular, could not fill the theater, but the three groups featured the same evening would combine their following to fill the theater.

Art & Crafts
Transform the current fall arts and crafts festival into a three-day, juried arts festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A committee of local arts professionals would be enlisted to help reformat the festival into a noteworthy event whose increased revenues could seriously underwrite our marketing office/efforts.

For an example, I would cite the “Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival” in Charles Town, West Virginia. This show is put on by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. According to their Executive Director, the revenues from this show account for significantly more than 50% of the total budget for that Chamber office. This show runs from Friday through Sunday, from 10 to 6 p.m.

What helps to draw outstanding artists and crafters to this event is the outstanding treatment that they receive by the people who put on the event. For example: electrical power is provided to any vendor who needs it. What helps to draw incredible crowds to this show is the serious commitment of advertising and marketing that is put into it. The budget for the show is typically $180,000.00. The revenues from the show are typically $250,000.00. On top of this, they do the show twice a year, in June and September.

In discussing this idea with some people, I was asked if I felt the area needed another arts and crafts show. The answer to this is that there is always room for someone doing it right.

Go to Part VII