The 2017 Peanut Butter Festival has come and gone — and to some, it will hopefully be remembered as a pivotal turning point or new chapter in the festival’s history. Most folks will say we were lucky or we had good weather, but I believe we were truly blessed.

Following a recent newspaper article regarding the future of the festival, some folks asked if after seeing this year’s success, would co-chairperson Lisa Kerle and I consider leading next year’s festival. While both of us intend to still be involved in some capacity, we will not be leading its efforts. True success is when one can delegate their duties to another while ensuring long-term sustainability. Both Lisa and I are pursuing other business ventures, which we delayed in order to help rejuvenate the festival.

Some would say we’re quitting or prematurely abandoning our roles as leaders of the festival, but those with vision, experience and maturity, know that we are moving forward in a positive direction. Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they’ve made a difference, but volunteers don’t have that problem. We’re not leaving the festival — we’re just taking on a different role, while nurturing this year’s improvements to ensure the festival’s long-term sustainability.

While Lisa and I may not be the chairpersons next year, we are committed to ensuring the festival’s long-term success and look forward to seeing it continue for the foreseeable future. The committee chairpersons and their committees did a great job and we are sure that success can continue. Committees are the key to the festival’s success because the festival is just too big of an event to rely on one, two or even three people.

The Peanut Butter Festival is one of our community’s largest and most prominent events, but there are many other improvements we desperately need, some of which include job creation and vocational sustainability, growth of school and educational opportunities, recruitment and retention of small businesses, improved efforts to showcase local real estate, development of arts, crafts and cultural entertainment, promotion of natural resources and outdoor recreation, etc.

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Words cannot express the sincere appreciation Lisa and I have for everyone who was involved in this year’s festival. We also appreciate the numerous calls, emails and texts with everyone’s kind words and positive reinforcement. Lisa and I are humbled to have had so many great committees and volunteers. We did this together. May God continue to bless the New Bethlehem area and Redbank Valley community. “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)


Chamber President & Festival Chairman,

Redbank Valley

Chamber of Commerce & Peanut Butter Festival

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