2020 Oil Heritage Festival Recap

Oil Heritage Festival 2020 is a wrap! What typically involves months of planning was compressed into weeks, to retain as much of a community celebration as possible.

“With early support of sponsors, we hoped we could hold some of the events, even if completely virtual,” Chamber President Susan Williams shares. “In May and June, we were optimistic that more in-person activities would be possible. That all changed two weeks ago with the governors newest orders.”

All Chamber sponsored events were either held virtually–the concerts and Queen crowning–or outdoors with a compliant number of attendees (less than 250).

“Many of our partner organizations rely heavily on the festival for fundraising or community service projects,” Susan adds. “They did an amazing job of transforming their events this year to be safe and compliant.”  

Keeping the focus on the kids during a time with so many uncertainties, modifications, and cancellations, Youth Alternatives (YA) distributed goodie bags to children on Thursday of festival. Hundreds of bags were filled with STEM activities, games, toys, and more. YA extends a big THANK YOU to the  donors who made this event so successful (see the list at

Several other groups hosted activities for children, including the PennDOT sponsored Bike Rodeo, Isaac Walton Fishing Derby, and a week of activities at the YWCA Summer Playgrounds. Sponsors and partners of this year’s festival continue to be listed on the website. Williams encourages everyone to take a look and extend appreciation, especially with the challenging year it was.

Acknowledging that this was a very difficult year to ask for financial support, Susan explains: “We knew as soon as COVID-19 hit this would likely not be the usual fundraiser for the Chamber, but we continued to be hopeful that a celebration would be welcomed and supported by the community, and indeed it was!”

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s August 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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