The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce staff and volunteers are busy preparing for the 32nd annual Oil Heritage Festival. Planning started immediately following the 2009 festival, and many improvements are being planned for the 2010 festivities.
The Oil Heritage Festival Committee has proposed a few changes to this year’s lineup of events. The biggest changes being a two-day Artisan & Fine Craft Festival to replace the Arts & Crafts Show; and a 5:00 p.m. Parade instead of the traditional noon step-off. These changes are being made in an effort to draw high-quality artisan and crafters, as well as, allow people an extra day to visit the artisan and craft festival.
The artisan and craft festival would take place on Friday, July 23rd from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 24th from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The parade would begin promptly at 5:00 p.m., and the route (West First Street to Seneca Street) would remain the same.
The committee has suggested to Oil City Council & Staff closing Seneca Street on Friday, July 23rd beginning at 8:00 a.m. and keeping the street closed until the end of the parade on Saturday, July 24th at 8:00 p.m.
The chamber will secure overnight security for the vendor’s booth spaces. Parade-goers will still be able to setup their chairs and blankets along the parade route, but should wait until after 4:00 p.m. as to not interfere with the vendors tearing down booths. The street will re-open to traffic after the parade ends and the streets have been swept.
Last year, the chamber made a decision to collect a dollar from Justus Park attendees (ages 13 and up) during the evening concerts. The funds raised from admission have been added to the festival entertainment budget, and additional bands have been secured for this year. The lineup is still being finalized, but headlining bands thus far include Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers (formerly the Iron City Houserockers) and the Earthquakers.
The admission fee was overall a success and will contribute to and improve future festivals.
Planning for the 2010 festival is still ongoing. Anyone with concerns, questions, or would like to help in the event planning should 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.oilheritagefestival.com. Facebook users can also “become a fan” of the festival by searching “Oil Heritage Festival”.