The Special Projects Grant program, funded by the City Council of Santa Maria, was created to support events and projects that generate overnight stays in our hotels. The program allows planners of events and projects to apply for marketing assistance to promote the event or project in our target markets.   There is no guarantee to receive the full amount of funding requested.  Applications are reviewed regarding the following criteria to make the best decision for funding.

▪         Planner must be a member in good standing of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau;

▪         The event or project must be held in the Santa Maria Valley;

▪         Event or project is marketed to generate significant numbers of overnight stays – preference given to those held between September 1 and May 30;

▪         Event is held annually;

▪         Organizers may request up to 50% of their marketing budget;

▪         Funds may be used for marketing, graphic design, printing, radio/print/online advertising or tournament fees;

▪         Organizer must include a well-developed marketing plan as well as defined uses for the promotional/advertising budget for the entire event, project or promotion.

For the November cycle, we received applications for 16 events and projects.  Those that met our criteria and have been allocated funds are listed below along with the date of the event/project and the host organization.


Host Organization


Hearts of Fire Softball Tourney Triple Crown Sports Feb. 12-13, 2011
OCS Championship Meet Santa Maria Swim Club March 6, 2011
PBA Regional Open Doubles Rancho Bowl March 11-13, 2011
Kite Festival Discovery Museum April 17, 2011
Strawberry Festival Santa Maria Fairpark April 29-May 1, 2011
Wine Country Air Fest Santa Maria Museum of Flight May 21, 2011
West Coast Kustoms Cruisin’ Nationals West Coast Kustoms May 27-29, 2011
Elks Rodeo Elks Lodge #1538 June 2-5, 2011
Grand Prix Tennis Tournament Central Coast Tennis July 2-4, 2011
Bent Axles Cruise & BBQ Weekend Bent Axles Car Club July 15-17, 2011
My Fairytale PCPA Theaterfest Aug. 12-Sept. 25, 2011
Elks Rodeo Elks Lodge #1538 June 2-5, 2011
Grand Prix Tennis Tournament Central Coast Tennis July 2-4, 2011

If you would like to learn more about this grant program, please contact Terri Paniagua at or call (805) 925-2403, ext. 851.