Essence Fest, N.O. Bowl, Zurich Classic see cuts from state

Essence Fest, N.O. Bowl, Zurich Classic see cuts from state

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As the state looks for places to tighten its budget belt, official have put money for some big New Orleans events on the chopping block.

On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne announced slashes to marketing and promotions for the Essence Festival, New Orleans Bowl and ForeKids Foundation, which is associated with the Zurich Classic.

Essence Fest took the biggest hit from the proposed cuts. Dardenne proposed a measure that would cut the festival's marketing and promotion funding from $948,112 to $600,000. The money would have been spent on commercials or promotions attracting people to the event.

"The big one is Essence Fest, which I say is a great event. We're supportive of it, always have been. I just don't feel like we can be as supportive as we've been in the past given the budget cuts that are taking place. Everywhere else in the budget," Dardenne said.

The state is facing more than a $1 billion shortfall for next year's budget.

The New Orleans Bowl saw funding drop from $280,577 to $150,000. ForeKids' funds were cut from $314,000 to $100,000.

Essence Festival and New Orleans Bowl organizers did not want to comment on the cuts.

ForeKids did not return our calls for comment.

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