Almost Here: What You Need to Know about the Festival of the Arts

It's almost time for the 52nd annual Festival of the Arts. From July 12-15, downtown State College will transform back into the festival that features some of our favorite summer memories. We talked with Jennifer Shuey, Director of Development about what's new, what's back and how kids can get involved. Read on!

HV: Tell us about this festival year — what's new? 

Jen: This year, it will be even easier for folks to preview everything that the Arts Festival has to offer and plan their itineraries on our fresh, new website at arts-festival.com. We have even more artists in the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition this year, with many new faces joining the ranks. We have a great selection of musical entertainment with local favorites along with several acts that we think will be big hits. Plus, we and the State Theatre are partnering to bring comedian Joe Machi for a Saturday night performance at 10 p.m. He is a State College native and Penn State alum who appeals to both the 20-something crowd who will be kicking off an evening of fun as well as the festival visitors who are ready to cap off a full day. This is the one event that requires a ticket purchase, so check our website at arts-festival.com/event/joe-machi/ for all the details.

HV: What is a returning favorite? 

Jen: This will be the third year for our Festive Spirits cocktail reception. With Big Spring Spirits mixing some special festive flavors and Catering with Style by Dan Rallis knocking the food out of the park, it’s become a not-to-miss event! Don’t wait to make your reservations; we expect the $75 tickets to sell out fast. 

HV: What are you personally most excited about this new year? 

Jen: Another new partnership this year is with Centred Outdoors. We are excited to offer people two opportunities to get outdoors for a walk in an urban environment while learning about the public art found throughout downtown State College all year-round.

HV: Tell us a little about Children and Youth Day on July 11.

Jen: We have a ton of experiences for kids and families on Wednesday, July 11, so be sure to visit both the Old Main Lawn and Sidney Friedman Park for some hands-on fun. My favorite part is the Children & Youth Sidewalk Sale on Allen Street from the Borough Building all the way out to Fairmount Avenue. Kids aged 8-18 get creative in the months leading up to the Festival and then unleash their entrepreneurial side as they sell their wares to an enthusiastic Arts Festival crowd. I’m always impressed by the budding talent. In fact, last year, one of the kids, a student at State High, also entered the Festival’s Images juried exhibition and took home the prize for the Best Drawing!

Don't forget to buy your button for $10 for access to select indoor performances! You can buy your button at arts-festival.com.

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