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The present study examined the sociocultural impact of special events based on the cultural festival of GermanFest in Syracuse, Nebraska. A total of 143 (71.5%) local residents responded to the self-administered survey. The dimensions of the sociocultural impact, the important reasons for celebrating the festival, the relationship among festival stakeholders, the levels of community involvement, and the improvement of the quality of life in the community as impacts of the festival and demographic information were investigated separately.
The Festival Social Impact Attitude Scale (FSIAS) was utilized to identify the dimensions of the sociocultural impact of GermanFest. Three dimensions were identified by the exploratory factor analysis: social costs, cultural life benefits, and community benefits. The means of the sociocultural impact statements indicated the residents’ attitudes toward the festival. For example, residents agreed that the festival increased their pride in the community (mean=4.38) and enhanced the community’s cultural identity (mean=4.31). Frequency descriptive statistics results indicated that the important reason for the city celebrates such a festival was attracting visitors and investment (mean=3.99); general cooperation was the main relationship among festival stakeholders (45.5% of the respondents indicated it); the local residents were somewhat actively involved in the festival (39.9% of the respondents indicated it); and the quality of residents’ lives in the community was improved by the festival, for example, the activities of daily living such as volunteer activities were improved by the festival (mean=2.73). The findings of this study have sociocultural, economic and environmental implications in benefitting residents and communities in future community festival planning.
Advisor: Fayrene L. Hamouz