Oil Heritage Festival 2009 Plans Underway

Oil Heritage FestivalPlans are well underway at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce for the 31st annual Oil Heritage Festival.  A festival of this size requires year around planning.  A few changes are in store for this year.  Community volunteers are at the heart of the festival and this year they will be adding new events and helping the chamber in trying to improve on many of the activities that have been regulars.  One significant addition to this years’ festival will be the introduction of an entrance fee for the evening concerts in Justus Park.  The fee will be a nominal $1.00 with children 12 and under free with an adult.  Community volunteers will assist in greeting visitors as they enter the park, while collecting the entrance fee.  Joe Carrico will serve as the coordinator for the evening concert admission.  He explains “This will allow us to have better control of the entrances to the park, creating an inviting welcome.  It also provides modest revenue to the Chamber, who intends to commit all proceeds to programming for the next years’ Festival Entertainment.”

Over the years the Oil Heritage Festival has kept fees for vendors very low and tried to include as many events free to the public as possible.  Despite many loyal festival sponsors, support revenue is substantially lower than in years past, with expenses continuing to rise.  Chamber Director Susan Williams comments that community support for the new gate fee has been positive.  Many festivals that offer free concerts charge parking fees from $3-$10. Parking throughout Oil City is free during most all festival activities.

This year will include all the favorites from years past like the Arts and Crafts Show, Parade and Car Show, as well as the many children’s activities.  Community members interested in volunteering during the festival can contact the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce at 814-676-8521.  As Festival nears, event details will be added to the chamber’s website at www.venangochamber.org.

2 comments

1 Marilyn { 06.04.09 at 7:44 am }

I think its great to charge a $1 to get in but are the rides for the kids going to go down ..last year we were disappointed to see that a lil bullride was $2 a child. With most people on fixed incomes and have children its hard to tell your child OK we are going to the festival but dont ask for anything because its to exspensive and we dont have it. I was just curious as to what all the prices would be for the childrens activities.Last year was our first year living in Oil City and dispite the lil disappoinatments we had a BLAST!!!! lOOKING forward to another great year.

2 mrschamber { 06.04.09 at 8:31 am }

Marilyn,

Thank you for your support and nice comments. We are very sensitive not only to the challenge of families to take on additional expense under normal conditions but even more this year. It is the reason we chose to keep our entrance fee at only $1.00 and only during the evening concerts. Once inside the park there will be additional opportunities to spend more money, on children’s rides and with food vendors. These are provided by outside vendors. We really appreciate any feedback about these vendors products, services and prices so that we can pass it along and continue to plan better for each year.

I hope you had the opportunity to attend the many free activities we offered for children last year, most of which will be repeated again this year. They include the Pet Show, Children’s Parade, Teddy Bear Picnic and Pool Party. Of course we hope that families will also enjoy the evening fireworks and parade from any location downtown. The children’s Fun Fair does include the purchase of tickets. This event provides another modest fundraiser for the Festival Committee but also supports many local non-profits. Unfortunately there are a couple of events that will not be held this year. The Bike Rodeo and Fishing Derby have met with unique challenges that result in thier cancellation for at least this year.

I would like to encourage any business or organization that is interested in sponsoring or organizing children’s events for future years to let us know. We have an amazing number of community volunteers who work all year to bring this Festival to the community. Also, you won’t want to miss the Cranberry Festival in September. ALL children’s activities are free!

Thanks again Marilyn!