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Summerfest co-directors focus on community

Summerfest co-directors Chris and Dianna Hoofnagle have been enjoying their leadership roles as preparations gear up for the Aug. 23 event.

Chris, 44, is a native of Virginia, and Dianna, 30, grew up in Pennsylvania.

The couple, who met as students at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, have worked in retail management positions, and their jobs brought them to York County about five years ago.

Chris Hoofnagle said he was asked to serve on the board of the Greater York Chamber of Commerce a few years ago, when he was working at Lowe’s in York.

He and Dianna, who is employed at Lowe’s, were asked to take on the Summerfest leadership role a couple years later, he said.

“I thought it would be good for the community and it would be a good opportunity for me,” he said. “You really meet a lot of people. I’ve enjoyed it, meeting people, working with people and overseeing the whole process.”

The Hoofnagles, who live in Rock Hill, served as co-directors in training last year, learning the ropes under then-directors Chris and Karen Farris.

This year, the Hoofnagles are training Matt Caldwell and Nicole Taylor, who will serve as directors for the 2015 festival.

The Hoofnagles can appreciate the family focus of the festival. They have four children, Caitlyn, 20; Austin, 15; Ashley, 13; and Riley, 9.

Chris, who said his family has enjoyed attending the festival in the past, also said the event is a testament to the commitment of the community.

“It’s incredible for what the small city of York can do,” he said. “It’s a testament to the people’s involvement in their community. It really puts York on the map.”

Hoofnagle noted that the festival has been billed as the largest one-day event in South Carolina, attracting some 30,000 to 40,000 people to York.

“It really brings people from all over to our corner of the world,” he said.

Hoofnagle said organizing the event brings new challenges and opportunities every year. He said the event offers new attractions and better music each year.

“For 31 years, with the support of the community, this community has been able to pull it off,” he said.