Photo by John Chadwell.

For the past four years, the San Benito Olive Festival has been a popular and successful event. Attendees have been able to see or meet many talented artisans, creators, farmers, ranchers, chefs and entertainers who call this region home.

Unfortunately, there will be no festival this year.

“Without a full-time (or even part-time) manager/executive director to navigate, we collectively didn’t have the necessary time to pull together and orchestrate the quality event that everyone has come to expect,” said festival board members in a recent press release.

The board expressed concern that because the San Benito Olive Festival is a yearlong commitment for board members, committee chairs and volunteers, the workload adds up when everyone has other commitments.

“To date, these joyful festivals have been brought together in a ‘grass roots’ fashion—thanks to boundless, donated hours of hard work by many many dedicated individuals,” the press release said.

To bring back the festival next year, the board is seeking funding to hire an organizational manager or executive director. They’re also looking for active/working board members, committee chairs and sponsors to help grow the festival.

The board said it’s extremely grateful for the amazing decorators, especially—the talented designers and painters who consistently stepped up and transformed huge blank open spaces into gorgeous, harvest-style country festivals with stylish VIP tasting areas.

“These beautiful settings helped SBOF to welcome all attendees into a magical San Benito County experience,” the press release said.

The board thanked the 20-plus nonprofit organizations who have made the San Benito Olive Festival possible. “It was a nice opportunity to meet potential donors and to reach out to new volunteers.”

In addition, photographer Hannah Smith has donated her photos from the 2017 Olive Photo Booth; they can be seen on the SBOF Facebook page.

For more information, email or visit the San Benito Olive Festival website or its Facebook page.

The San Benito Olive Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that 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.