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Deltafest's Sweet Sweet 16

MONROE, LA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — It took almost two decades, but Monroe's Deltafest has finally made a profit.

Moving DeltaFest from fall to spring and from Chennault Park to the Monroe Civic Center helped the festival make its first profit ever, $39,000 according to Monroe officials.

Until this year, the festival existed profitless during its 12 years as the Louisiana Folklife Festival and four as DeltaFest. Mayor Jamie Mayo tells The News-Star, the $39,000 profit marks the city's first profit on any festival in more than 20 years.

DeltaFest lost more than $100,000 in 2008 according to the AP. The following year, the city council cut its operating budget from $548,554 to $295,000. There was no 2009 festival, because of the move to April this year.

This year's festival featured several days of food, a small children's area and musical and comedic entertainment.

Headlining the 2010 DeltaFest were country superstar Tracy Lawrence, Grammy-award rhythm and blues singer Monica and comedian Mike Epps. Local and regional acts filled out the schedule.

Rod Washington, city spokesman and public relations director, reported to Star News that the city decided to change the folklife festival to DeltaFest four years ago in order to reach a broader audience. Washington said it took three years of trying different things before the city found a way to make it profitable.

John Ross, community affairs director, credits a change in venue and a wider variety of acts as the reason DeltaFest was so successful this year. Ross said the city brought in a more diverse lineup, and moving the event from Chennault Park to the Monroe Civic Center was a huge cost-saver according to Star News.

Ross reported to Star News that planning for the 2011 DeltaFest is under way. The DeltaFest planning committee will meet with an agent-promoter next week to start scheduling talent for the next DeltaFest, scheduled for April 15-16 at the Monroe Civic Center. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers