Venango County, located in western Pennsylvania, was formed on March 12, 1800, from parts of Allegheny and Lycoming Counties. Venango County is located about halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie. Venango County includes the cities of Oil City and Franklin, nine boroughs, and 20 townships. Its county seat is located in Franklin, Pa. The present courthouse in Franklin was built in 1865. As of 2010, the estimated population of Venango County was 54,984.
Oil Boom in Venango County
In August of 1859, Colonel Edwin L. Drake struck oil near Titusville (in the boundary of Venango County) and drilled the world’s first commercially successful oil well. Beautiful Victorian homes and architecture are evidence of the great wealth the oil boom brought to the communities of Venango County.
The recreation opportunities in Venango County are endless. You can go hiking in the scenic Allegheny valley; fishing in the streams of Oil Creek; hunting in the wilderness; golfing in the nationally-known regulation golf courses; biking in the fifty miles of paved recreational trails; kayaking in the waterways of French Creek; or cross-country skiing in the paths of Two Mile Run.
Arts & Entertainment
Venango County welcomes practicing artists and enthusiasts of all types. Enjoy arts and crafts shows; catch a riverfront concert; browse through an art gallery; or attend a nationally recognized theatre production. For additional information, visit our Arts & Entertainment directory.
Venango County offers you plenty of choices to make your stay a memorable one. Bed & Breakfasts are located throughout the cities of Franklin, Oil City, Emlenton, and along the scenic Allegheny River. Attractive and contemporary hotels are also located in Oil City, Franklin, and Cranberry which provide families comfort with modern amenities such as workout facilities, swimming pools, restaurants, and wireless internet. If you prefer a rustic get-away, Venango County offers plenty of cabins, river-front cottages, and Adirondack-type shelters for rent. For additional information, visit our Lodging directory.
Visitors to Venango County can conveniently fly into the Venango Regional Airport, serviced by Continental Airlines. Venango Regional supports convenient, daily airline flights to Cleveland Airport. The airport offers a modern, pleasant terminal with on-site rental cars and one of the area’s best restaurants.
Shopping & Dining
The communities of Oil City, Franklin, and Emlenton offer plenty of unique specialty shops and restaurants. While commercial shopping and major retailers await you in Cranberry. Many tourists find special one-of-a-kind items in our diverse selection of small and large antique and used furniture stores. A variety of eateries offer American and international cuisine ranging from casual to fine dining.
Festivals & Events
The annual Cranberry Festival is held on the third weekend in September in Morrison Park, Seneca, Pa. The week preceding the festival includes additional community activities, including an Art Show and the crowning of the Cranberry Festival King and Queen.
Oil Heritage Festival
2012 marks the 34th anniversary of the Annual Oil Heritage Festival, sponsored by the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. The festival honors the area’s rich heritage that resulted from the discovery of petroleum and the oil boom. The Annual Oil Heritage Festival is a four-day festival with events that include a 100+ vendor arts and crafts show, Oil Heritage Art Show, the largest parade in all of Venango County, car and motorcycle show, Children’s Fun Fair, children’s parade, lots of food vendors, concerts in Justus Park, fireworks, and much more! The Oil Heritage Festival is held in Downtown Oil City, Pa.
2012 marks the 30th Annual Applefest. Franklin Applefest was named a Top 100 Event for 2012 by the American Bus Association. Franklin’s Applefest is a three-day event, from October 5-7, 2012. There are over 350 Vendors for Arts & Crafts, an Antique & Classic Car Show, a 5K Race for Any Pace, a Kids’ Korner, a Farmers’ Market, Free Entertainment, and lots of food! The Franklin Applefest is held in Downtown Franklin, Pa.
Other Festivals & Events
- First Night Oil City
- Oil Country Bluegrass Festival
- Emlenton Summer Festival
- Kennerdell Music & Arts Festival
- Venango County 4-H Fair
For more events, check out our Venango County Events Calendar.