The Festival is supported by merchant and private donations, along with some grants, if available. Your donation makes a difference!
The Ely Winter Festival attracts visitors to the area during a season when they might not otherwise think about coming. Local merchants, resorts, restaurants, hotels and inns are helped through their "down" season by a bustling town full of winter tourists. And what attracts them? Besides the usual winter recreation, the Winter Festival invites artists from all over to come and share their snowcarving skills, leaving beautiful big carvings in the city park.
The Festival pays for mileage for the snow carvers, arranges housing, feeds them and gifts them with an honorarium to let them know how much we appreciate their time and talents. They are not paid for their contribution. This portion of the Festival costs between $10,000 and $15,000, depending on how much snow needs to be moved in the park.
Several non-profits put on activities during the Festival, like Veterans on the Lake, the Kizer Foundation and Northern Lakes Arts Association. Without the umbrella of the Festival, these organizations would not be afforded the opportunity for fundraising.