Bolivar's Pioneer Oil Week June 17th - 24th

Bolivar’s Pioneer Oil Week

June 17th through the 24th


Allegany County is still very much involved in the oil business, and at the center of it all is Bolivar where each year they celebrate with a week-long tribute to everything oil related. 

The area is well-known for being the heart of the Allegany Oil Field. In 1888 the nearby town of Richburg became famous for bringing in a real gusher, causing the population to go from a few hundred to thousands overnight. A year later the same town was practically abandoned for richer fields that were found to the south in nearby Bolivar, Allentown, and over the State line into Pennsylvania.

The Pioneer Oil Parade always has many pieces of equipment used in today’s oil business, and there’s a miniature drilling rig which makes its way down the parade route each year as well. There are two museums in Bolivar, one on the Main Street, and another that sits on land just off Boss Street. Everything to do with the oil industry can be found in the museums from local products that were once sold with the Bolivar labels, to old nitro bottles and old photographs, to large pieces of actual drilling equipment—some of which still run today.

The highlight for the oil industry during this week is the Wall of Fame Inductions that the New York State Oil Producers’ Association (NYSOPA) holds in the newer museum. A handful of owners, drillers, producers, and roustabouts—just about anyone connected to the industry—are selected to be on the Wall. A plaque with their photograph and accomplishments to the oil industry are unveiled, and family and friends share stories of them. It is quite the honor to be chosen for the Wall of Fame.

Of course, there are other parts to the week-long activities too. Like the community picnic which is free, a digital scavenger hunt that takes participants on a history lesson of the town, a huge vintage and street rod car show after the parade, an antique tractor pull for the adults, a children’s tractor pull for the little ones, a movie shown under the stars in the bank parking lot, and a duck race of those little tiny plastic river swimmers!
New this year is the “Pioneer Oil Days Beard Contest”. It’s easy to enter, all you have to do is show up at the high school looking like an old-time oilman—with a beard—and march in the parade lineup! You will be judged at the judges stand by the criteria of best beards in “the Spirit of Pioneer Oil Days”.  

There is also plenty of food to be found from a spaghetti dinner at the United Methodist Church, and a Wine and Cheese Tasting in Bolivar, and a Strawberry Shortcake being served at the Richburg-Wirt Museum in Richburg during the week.

The whole week ends out with an alumni celebration at the Bolivar Country Club, and the 2018 Bolivar-Richburg Central School Graduation on Sunday afternoon.

It’s one of the biggest events in Allegany County during the summer; you won’t want to miss out on all the fun during this week!


Event Schedule June 17-24, 2018

• Sunday June 17th 
o Genesee Valley Antique Tractor Pull, Hahn and Schaffner, 9am-5pm

• Monday June 18th 
o Euchre Tournament, 6:00pm American Legion. 

• Tuesday June 19th 
o Community Picnic 5pm, Shaner Field
o Baldwin’s Children’s Tractor Pull, 6:30-7:30pm, Shaner Field

• Wednesday June 20th 
o Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner at Bolivar United Methodist Church, 4-6pm
o BRCS Student Showcase at Bolivar United Methodist Church, directed by Matthew Morris. 7-8pm

• Thursday June 21st 
o Local History Scavenger Hunt, St. Mary's Parish Hall, 6-7:30pm
o Richburg Colonial Library Book Sale, 9am–7:30pm
o Strawberry Shortcake & Sundae Festival, Richburg-Wirt Museum, 5-8pm
o Fire Truck Rides at Bolivar Fire Hall, 7-9pm
o Movie under the Stars, Bolivar Library Parking Lot, 9pm

• Friday June 22nd 
o "Wall of Fame" Inductions, New Oil Museum at Hahn & Schaffner site
o Wine & Cheese Tasting, New Oil Museum at Hahn & Schaffner, 6:30-8pm

• Saturday June 23rd 
o BR Sports Booster Club 5K Walk/Run 8am at Pre-K.
o Legion Auxiliary Breakfast 8-11am
o Parade 10am
o Summer Cruise Car Show immediately after parade
o Duck Race, Main Street bridge, 12:00 noon
o Chicken Bar-B-Q, Fire Hall, noon till gone.
o Lioness raffle drawing during car show.
o Bolivar-Richburg Alumni Reception, Bolivar Country Club, 1-5pm
o Richburg Alumni Banquet, 6:30pm, Richburg School
• Sunday June 24th 
o BRCS High School Graduation 2pm

Go online to PioneerOilDays.com for links to entry forms

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