Agriculture

Olive Festival plans smaller events for 2016

Olive Festival Board will continue with "mini events" in 2016, with expanded plans for 2017.
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The following announcement was provided by San Benito Olive Festival Board.

 We know that many of you are eagerly anticipating the next San Benito Olive Festival. We are, too! For a variety of reasons though, SBOF will be postponing this year’s major event, and is looking forward to staging the next big gourmet celebration in 2017. In the meantime, we’re planning “mini” events – SBOF ‘foodie happenings’ – that will take place throughout this year, as a build up to the 2017 Festival. Stay tuned, and keep tabs on our Facebook page for updates. 

As for the SBOF "gap year," many factors contribute to the continued, healthy and sustainable growth of an annual festival. We, the current board, felt that this would be a good point in time to take a step back, to evaluate the current festival model, and to carefully explore our next steps. We’ll be utilizing the time to strategize, and to make clear, mindful decisions – ones that will insure continued festival success on all levels. We also plan to expand the Board, and will be looking to add a significant “succession infrastructure” of committee chairpeople – to then become Board members. We believe this decision to postpone the Olive Fest for 2016 is a wise one. It will fortify the Olive Festival event for the long-term, and enable the organization to better fulfill its mission as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. 

Mission Statement: The San Benito Olive Festival exists to promote awareness and appreciation of the region’s world class culinary agriculture, premier artisans and to help support community causes with festival proceeds; and for the past three years we have been doing just that. 

We’ve had great success thus far in growing the event, and celebrating our county’s local agriculture and culinary delights. Net proceeds have grown as the event has matured, and we have been able to give back to our participating non-profit organizations. In building and strengthening the festival, we have been blessed with: 

  •  ticket sales increasing 45 percent from year 1 to year 3 
  •  the involvement of 20+ community non-profit organizations 
  •  generous support from 60+ area businesses and sponsors 
  •  generous support from the Community Foundation for San Benito County 

 200+ dedicated volunteers, including Board members and Chairpersons, who have put in thousands of hours of hard work to make the event a success 

MANY many thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors, venues, volunteers, local government, community non-profit organizations, amazing wineries, craft breweries, growers, vendors, artisans, visitors, media resources and others for your participation and on-going support in this important regional event. We sincerely apologize for any disappointment on this postponement, but are absolutely confident that this brief pause will enable us to make some structural improvements that will take the San Benito Olive Festival to a whole new level in 2017. 

Sincerely, The Board – San Benito Olive Festival 

Note: We are currently seeking community leaders who are interested in serving on our Board or being a committee chairperson. SBOF has a seven- to nine-member member board of directors that oversee our not-for-profit organization and plan the event, and 15 to 20 committee chairs to lead the festival committees. If you are interested in volunteering on our building team, please call (831)537-7270 or email [email protected]

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