Penn Valley groups join to sponsor festival |

Penn Valley groups join to sponsor festival

“Do your own thing” is not always the best policy, so three Penn Valley organizations decided to pull together to sponsor the community’s second annual Festival of the Year, scheduled for Saturday at Western Gateway Park.

“I felt that we’re such a small community going off in different directions, trying to raise money all the time,” said Amber Thompson, president of the Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.

It seemed like a good idea to combine resources, she said, “to do one thing we could work together on as a team.”

Along with the chamber, Penn Valley Rotary Club and Gateway Performing Arts Foundation are sponsoring the festival, sharing the responsibilities and the proceeds.

Profits will go right back into the community by way of the three groups’ individual projects, said Phyllis Shippen, president of the Gateway Performing Arts Foundation.

“This is definitely a major fund-raiser for all three organizations.”

Shippen also represented the Penn Valley Rotary Club in the festival planning process.

“I wear both hats,” she said. By working together, “We felt we could have a bigger project, with bigger potential, than each organization doing something separately.”

The festival will feature a concert with rock ‘n’ roller Dave Somerville of the Diamonds.

Also appearing will be Kiesha Wright, “the world’s other Tina Turner,” and the Muddy Rivers Revue, a combo of instrumentalists and vocalists.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Rounding out the festival will be a silent auction and display of classic cars by the Roamin’ Angels.

Food and beverages will also be available.

Shippen’s hope is that Gateway Performing Arts Pavilion at Western Gateway Park can finally be finished with funds from the festival.

“We’ve had to stretch our money a long way,” she said. “We’re very close to having it complete enough to have the building department sign it off so we can turn it over to the park.”

Shippen and her husband, Jim, have worked for six years on the pavilion project with the foundation.

Jim Shippen is pavilion project manager and coordinator “in charge of the begging committee,” said his wife, chuckling.

“Year after year, Rotary has always taken the pavilion under its wings,” said Mike Heauser, president of Penn Valley Rotary. “It has been one of our community projects.”

“By joining together,” he said, “I think whatever club or organization is definitely helped, considering the limited resources that we all have.”

Thompson is hopeful that the festival will be a success. “If this works,” she said, “I would like to see it done again.”


WHAT: Festival of the Year

WHEN: 7-10 p.m, Saturday.

WHERE: Western Gateway Park, Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley

ADMISSION: General admission $20, free for age 12 and under.

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