Newbie, or more formally New Bethlehem, has nothing much to do with old Bethlehem or Jesus. What the town of just over 1,000 does have is a Smuckers Peanut Butter factory and an annual Peanut Butter Festival in September. This small town 20 miles from the county seat of Clarion happens to host the Clarion County Fair each year as well.
New Bethlehem was founded in 1853 and lies along the wide Redbank Creek, which forms the southern boundary of Clarion County.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania is the livelihood of much of Clarion. Located right downtown, the school's 6,500 students provide regular foot traffic and steady income to the bars, shops, and restaurants on Main Street in Clarion. Without the university, Clarion would be a ghost town, as all businesses would have long ago moved a mile away to the I-80 interchange and the mall.
CUP was founded in 1867 and is one of the state's 14 universities. Clarion offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and post master's certificates. In 2008 Clarion had 6,591 students, of which 5,927 were undergraduates. 61 percent of the students are females, and 94 percent of the students are from PA. Interestingly, students attend Clarion University from 27 foreign countries.
Famous grads, other than my grandmother, my sister, and countless friends of mine include:
Kurt Angle, 1996 Summer Olympics wrestling gold medalist and pro wrestler; MLB Cy Young award winner Pete Vukovich; and John Calipari, University of Memphis basketball coach.