Willimantic Renaissance, Inc., a 501c(3) non-profit corporation, was formed in 2002 as a grassroots organization to revitalize downtown Willimantic by using the arts to enhance diversity, build community and attract consumers.
In 2002, the first year of the festival, there were 3,000 – 6,000 attendees at each festival. In future years attendance has continued to grow and now averages over 8,000 attendees at each fest. Radio, newspaper ads and flyers promote the festival and downtown Willimantic. The forty Main Street merchants see increased shoppers. Over one hundred artisans, crafters, artists, and nonprofit organizations along with sixty-five performers gain exposure. And over one hundred people volunteer services in support of the festival. The entire greater Windham community, if not all of eastern Connecticut benefits from a regional center for culture, arts and commerce, as well as a renewed appreciation and improved reputation for our historic mill towns.