It's almost summer, and that means fun festivals for many cities. Though these festivals are often nonprofit events in themselves, they can mean a huge boost in tourism - and money - for the cities hosting them. Here are some of the biggest festivals, and ways their host cities benefit financially. (Use holiday time to teach your children about earning, saving and spending money. Learn how, in Summer: Time For Teaching Your Kids About Money.)
IN PICTURES: 7 Ways To Position Yourself For Recovery

  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: April 23-May 2
    The city of New Orleans has seen its share of catastrophes, with hurricane Katrina most notable, but its resilient spirit is evident in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Better known as Jazz Fest, the festival started in 1970 with an attendance of 350, which has since grown to over 400,000. Twelve stages host the world's biggest names in jazz, blues, gospel and a variety of other music, while Louisiana food and craft booths fill up Congo Square and Louisiana Marketplace. For 2010, the festival boasts names like Simon & Garfunkel, Lionel Richie and Pearl Jam.

    Ticket Cost: $50 a ticket at the gate

    Benefits to New Orleans: For this struggling city, Jazz Fest is only topped by Mardi Gras as a tourist-drawing event. Tourism is New Orleans' largest source of income, adding $210 million to the city's budget every year. (Use the easy tips in Preparing For Nature's Worst to protect your financial interests from natural disasters.)

  • Taste of Chicago: June 24-July 4
    If you're into food, the Taste of Chicago annual festival is the place to be. Each year, Grant Park becomes a lively conglomeration of concerts, crafts and, of course, many food vendors where attendees can taste local and exotic cuisine. The festival has its roots in 1980, when it started as a one-day Fourth of July food celebration. Taste of Chicago has since grown to a more than week-long event, with an estimated attendance of almost 3.5 million people.

    Ticket Cost: The festival and concerts are free. To taste food, you must buy tickets, which run 12 for $8.

    Benefits to Chicago: Although attending the festival is free, Chicago sees a strong boost in tourism income from hotel expenditures (rooms run $200+ a night in the city), food and related travel spending by tourists. With the festival's close proximity to the Fourth of July, visitors are likely to stay on. The city sees over $10 billion in tourism-related revenue annually. (Learn to trim the fat from your grocery bill and reduce the impact of food cost on your budget, in 22 Ways To Fight Rising Food Prices.)

  • Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C.: July 4
    What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation's capitol? Washington D.C. takes the Fourth of July to a full day of events, with the Smithsonian Folklore Festival, and orchestra and organ concerts. The day is topped by fireworks over the Washington Monument.

    Ticket Cost: Free

    Benefit to Washington D.C.: Tourism is big business for Washington D.C., with July being its peak month. Visitors keep more than 71,000 people employed, and bring $5.64 billion to America's capitol. (Getting to and around your travel destination doesn't need to break the bank. Find out how to travel on a budget, in Save On Planes, Trains And Automobiles.)

  • Oswego Harborfest: July 22-25
    Harborfest started as a small local event in Oswego, NY, and quickly grew to the big summer festival it is today. With its many children's and family events like the Children's Parade, the festival draws families mostly from the local area (roughly 80%), and entertains with food, music and fireworks in the city's harbor. Harborfest boasts an attendance of 250,000.

    Ticket Cost: Free

    Benefits to Oswego: Harborfest brings $32 million to Oswego, and keeps 637 people employed. (Keep the kids out of your hair and wallet by saving on summer camps, sports leagues, day trips and more. Learn how in Budget-Friendly Summer Fun.)

  • Iowa State Fair: August 12-22
    When it comes to its state fair, Iowa goes big in every way, with more than 600 exhibitors and concession stands, plus one of the world's largest livestock shows. The Iowa State Fair has been running since 1854, with more than 1 million visitors annually enjoying the festivities. For 2010, the fair has chosen the theme of "Non-Stop Fun," with musical performances by Kelly Clarkson and Brooks & Dunne.

    Ticket Cost: $7 a day.

    Benefits to Iowa: As the most prominent state fair in the Midwest, the Iowa State Fair draws a large crowd. The state's 105 fairs net more than $227 million for Iowa every year.

  • Bumbershoot (Seattle, WA): September 4-6
    Bumbershoot (slang for umbrella) has been the music and arts event of Seattle since 1971. Held at the Seattle Center, Bumbershoot showcases dance, music and hosts of other arts every Labor Day weekend, with an attendance topping 150,000.

    Ticket Cost: Starts at $60 for the three-day event.

    Benefits to Seattle: In a rough economy, the state of Washington counts on its tourism to keep more than 149,000 people employed - with Seattle generating more than $5 billion annually from tourists' spending. (Find out why moving to a less expensive city may not reduce your expenses, in 10 Reasons Why Moving Might Not Make You Richer.)

Festival Fun
Thinking of going to one of these festivals? They're fun, and often free, which makes it a great outing if you're within driving distance. Something else to feel good about: your attendance keeps city budgets afloat, and people employed at a time when jobs are hard to come by. These festivals are a win-win for everyone, and a great deal of summer fun to boot.

Don't miss what's happening this week in the financial world. Check out Water Cooler Finance: Buffett's Bank Fraud And Financial Eruptions.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    5 States with the Highest GDP Per Capita

    Learn about the top five states ranked by their real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as of 2014: Alaska, North Dakota, New York, Connecticut and Wyoming.
  2. Budgeting

    Basics For Buying An Apartment In Manhattan

    Here's info to help you get the apartment hunt started right.
  3. Retirement

    3 Luxury Retirement Communities In New York

    Discover why retirees are attracted to New York as a retirement destination, and learn more about three of the most luxurious communities in the state.
  4. Budgeting

    Pick Your Airport & Save Money Flying to the U.S.

    Which airports offer the biggest bargains on trips to the States? There's no one cheapest airport – but check several and you'll save on your flights.
  5. Personal Finance

    Top Chicago Restaurants for Wining and Dining

    Looking to wine and dine clients in Chicago? These seven spots should be on your short list.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Taxes in New York for Small Business: The Basics

    Learn how small businesses are taxed in New York, and understand how tax rates vary based on whether the business is an S corporation, LLC or partnership.
  7. Retirement

    The Cities Where the Ultra-Rich Retire in New York

    Discover why wealthy and active adults retire in New York, the cities they favor and key information about each city that makes it attractive to retirees.
  8. Professionals

    The 6 Best Financial Advisors in Chicago

    Understand what makes a financial advisor good and why it may be difficult to find one. Learn about six of the best Chicago-based financial advisors.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    START-UP NY: How a Tax-Free Zone Would Work

    START-UP NY is an initiative designed to attract companies to New York State by giving them 10 years of tax breaks. Sounds good, but is it a success?
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 New York Municipal Bond ETFs

    Explore analysis of the top three exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that offer exposure to the New York state municipal bond market, while generating tax-free income.
  1. How much does seasonality affect the net sales figures of companies, such as retailers?

    Seasonality affects both sales and net sales figures of companies in different ways. For some companies, seasonality has ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What causes politicians or governments to begin "pork barrel" spending?

    Pork barrel spending occurs when the government taxes the general population to hand out concentrated benefits to special ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the best and worst states to pay taxes in?

    Most people can probably guess the two worst states for taxation in the U.S. – New York and California. The two best, Wyoming ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center