Forty-one years of Oil Heritage Festival have been celebrated by the community, because of generous sponsors and volunteers. Planning happens almost year round, but your Chamber is now in full tilt;—securing entertainment contracts, reserving venues, and preparing for all the promotion for the 2019 OHF. Now is the time to let us know if you’d like to support the festival and your help can come in many ways.
Financial sponsorship assures that we can hire the musicians, print the programs, and provide the awards and prizes for events going on within the festival. Regardless of how much, every donation is appreciated and is your vote of confidence that you value community celebration. We often hear that businesses or community members are ready to get involved and wish to add a new event or come and volunteer during the festival. This is a great way to get to know your community better. Let us know if we can find a job for you. We can use you for a short time or fully immerse you in the festival experience.
We understand that many small businesses have a modest amount of time and money to give, but still want to be connected. We’ll be collecting items or complete baskets for our raffle once again and will have placemat advertising available. Believe it or not, deadlines for our print materials are quickly approaching. You’ll find more information about sponsorship and advertising in the insert in this newsletter. Let us know if we can help you find the best way to get involved in Oil Heritage Festival this year.
I’m thinking about the shift in gears that takes place about now at the Chamber. There is a note-able change that occurs in our office that seems to permeate everyday. Festival Season is here! Every other phone call we receive seems to be related to the whens and the wheres of what will go on during Oil Heritage Festival. The office will begin to look different as our windows display sponsors, boxes of printed materials arrive and supplies are pulled from storage.
While this is the most obvious shift in office, there are others. We greet far more visitors that are traveling through the Oil Region or returning to visit family. I think there’s a change that goes on for me as well. It is much more appealing to get out from behind my desk (which I definitely do all year round, but…) and hit the streets. Networking goes full tilt!
What does all this mean for you and your business? There are new and different opportunities with every season, not only in your shop but through the Chamber. It’s the perfect time to check in with us or flag me down. Let’s prop open the doors and raise up the shades and show everyone we’re open for business and ready for Summer in Venango!
Plans 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.