To help you better enjoy this weekend’s Peanut Butter Festival in New Bethlehem, here are 25 facts and tips for the 25th annual event:
1. This is the 25th year for the festival, which began in September 1996 following the devastation caused by the 1996 flood. Julia Sabin, who was the local manager of the Smuckers Peanut Butter Factory, suggested a festival to lift the community’s spirits.
2. In 2019, the Peanut Butter Festival was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as well as CBS News! The PBF Marketing team is sincerely appreciative of all those news/media outlets who help to make the PBF a success.
3. Over the years, the festival has included PB filled perogies, PB filled hotdogs, PB-flavored wine, PB ice cream, PB candy, PB&J sandwiches, PB baked goods including PB pie, cake, cupcakes, pudding, cookies, brownies, etc. We’ve even had PB body soap and PB syrup for pancakes!
4. The surprise eating contest will be PB&J Sandwiches courtesy of Zack’s Restaurant in New Bethlehem. Rules and contest registration can be found at PBFestival.com.
5. The Peanut Butter Cookoff is a popular event and introduces some very unique treats and creative dishes — all made with peanut butter! Local grocery store, Tom’s Riverside, sponsors this event. The contest is professionally judged; details and rules at PBFestival.com.
6. The first three ducks to hit the huge inflatable duck will determine this year’s winners for the duck contest. Folks can purchase rubber ducks to float down Red Bank Creek (or Leisure Run) while enjoying the fun and excitement of seeing the huge inflatable duck.
7. DJ “The Outlaw”, Route 8 Band, Dancers Studio, NBC Barbershop Chorus and Ventriloquist Jimmy Swogger will be joining us as our stage entertainment with music, dancing, singing and more!
8. Three young ladies are vying for the Peanut Butter Festival Queen contest this year — which is a scholarship contest sponsored by the local Smucker’s peanut butter factory and hosted by the New Bethlehem Civic Club. The queen is crowned Friday night and will participate in the parade Saturday.
9. The New Bethlehem Fire Company will host a Chicken Barbecue at Gumtown Park on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. Support our local volunteer firefighters!
10. The chamber’s main tent will be on the festival midway and includes various flavors of peanut butter for sale, courtesy of the Smucker’s peanut butter factory. The chamber tent includes a large variety of T-shirts, apparel, trinkets and collectibles for festival-goers to purchase.
11. The 5K (and Health Walk) is held on the award-winning Redbank Valley Trails and draws folks from throughout the region. This event attracts everyone from professional athletes to novice participants.
12. The festival will feature an inflatable carnival for families and their children on Saturday and Sunday. Kids love the inflatable rides and parents appreciate the affordable $5 ride wristbands.
13. The big event on Saturday is the parade for our Peanut Butter Festival Queen! The parade features everything from local bands to decorative floats, fire trucks and even classic cars courtesy of the Knight Cruisers!
14. The headline entertainer this year is the Route 8 Band, a Western Pennsylvania professional band offering a mix of country, rock and blues!
15. Saturday includes the Motorcycle Bike Cruise which helps to benefit local lung/brain cancer patient, Andrea Southworth. Motorcycle enthusiasts are encouraged to participate — registration starts at 9 a.m. and the bikers leave the parking lot of the VFW promptly at 11 a.m. Visit PBFestival.com for more details.
16. The big event for Sunday is the Classic Car Cruise-In courtesy of the Knight Cruisers Car Club. Come see the classic cars and beautiful vehicles along Water street in New Bethlehem.
17. We can’t forget about the Tractor Show, also Sunday afternoon. Tractors of all shapes and sizes will be available for people to admire. The kids and big kids love their farm toys!
18. Rounding out the afternoon before the festival ends, the NBC Barbershop Chorus will perform, followed by local ventriloquist Jimmy Swogger & Friends.
19. We’re excited to bring back the Community Church Service this year hosted by the Cornerstone Church of God. Worship service will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19 on the stage in Gumtown Park.
20. Support the Redbank Valley Historical Society Quilt Show Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the old Northwest Bank Building.
21. Be sure to Like and Share the Peanut Butter Festival on Facebook at Facebook.com/PeanutButterFestival.
22. A new event for this year is the Cute as a Peanut Contest where babies/toddlers compete in a photo contest for the cutest peanut! Vote for your favorite peanut. Registration forms available at PBFestival.com
23. The Brickhouse Bed & Breakfast and Mahoning Apartments are several fantastic places to stay in the New Bethlehem area if you are coming to the festival. More places to stay can be found on our website: PBFestival.com.
24. Smucker’s is providing this year’s Peanut Butter, as they always do. All major flavors will be available in limited quantities.
25. The festival is brought to you each year through the work and coordination of dozens of volunteers. If you see folks manning the chamber tent, emptying garbage cans, organizing the parade units, or doing anything to help out, be sure to thank them for all their hard work to make the Peanut Butter Festival a success.
See You At The Festival!