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Boy on Folk Festival billboard is all grown up

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jul 03 2013 10:34:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 04 2013 08:50:14 AM CDT

Boy on poster for festival is now a grownup

SPRING TWP., Pa. -

For years, a little boy wearing a straw hat, suspenders and a bandana around his neck has been the face of the Kutztown Folk Festival. The "billboard boy" is all grown up now. 

"No, it's not me," said Ian Snyder of Kutztown.

The cute boy watches over traffic every summer from billboards all over Berks County, and he has been doing it for years.

"When I see that, yep time for the festival," said Snyder.

"Well, they got a good thing," said John Mertz, of Kutztown. "So, why give up a good thing?"

Who is he?

"I have no idea what the kid's name is," said Snyder.

The Kutztown Folk Festival kid isn't working at the Kutz Fries stand. He's not even at the festival, but he is still in Berks County.

"I try to collect something of everything that he's been on, barring the billboard, which I don't know if I could get one of those," said Connie Hoffman, whose adorable 5-year-old was frozen in time for the festival. "Of course I have the hat, also, the infamous hat."

"I don't think anybody, if they saw the picture and saw me would go, that's the same guy," said Dwight Hoffman.

Dwight Hoffman, 20, of Spring Township, said it was a long time ago, but he has some memories of being a model.

"That was supposedly my fake smile," said Hoffman. "I was having a fit that day. I wasn't happy. I'm a 5-year-old kid forced to dress up and stand in the sun for a picture."

He became the face of the festival, but saw no fame and no fortune as a result.

"My parents and I joke around all the time about I should get paid or something for that. You're using my face. It's all in good fun," said Hoffman.

His mom loves it.

"He's like the Gerber baby, right?" she said.

Her billboard boy isn't a baby and is all grown up.