The Central PA Festival of the Arts is here!

The best weekend of the summer is upon us! The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is here and the State College streets have transformed into an art oasis. Vendors line the roads, music fills the air and priceless memories are made and shared.

This year’s festival officially kicked off today with the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale. Central Pennsylvania children were invited to display their artistic talent and sell their work to festival-goers.

The festival is on its 52nd run, growing bigger and bringing in more artists, entertainers and fun to Happy Valley each year.

The Art

Everywhere you turn, you’ll stumble upon art of all kinds. This year, 300 artists specializing in a range of disciplines including basketry, jewelry, photography, sculpture and more are showcasing their work in the sidewalk exhibition and sale. With the large variety of vendors, the perfect piece for every budget and taste lies somewhere on the festival grounds.

To prepare for your festival outing, check out the artists ahead of time here. You can even explore the artists according to the booths they are assigned. Use this online map to help you prepare or download this printable map to navigate the festival with ease.

In addition to the street vendors, the Images 2018 exhibition will be on display in Schlow Library throughout the month of July. The exhibit features drawings, paintings, mixed media, photography, hand-pulled prints, watercolors, fiber, paper and digital art, and artists of all ages were encouraged to submit their works for display.

Artwork also adorns the sky and the pavement this weekend. As you walk down Allen Street, look up to see the banner exhibition. Look down and you’ll see the ground come to life thanks to talented street painters.

The Music

You’ll never have to walk the streets in silence this weekend. Musicians, both local and touring, are scheduled to perform all weekend long.

Stop and listen to free performances on three outdoor stages, as well as in smaller plazas. From concert bands and choral groups, jazz musicians and rock bands, this festival has it all.

You can also find performances in several indoor venues throughout State College. Purchase an official festival button for $10 to access select indoor performances for free.

To learn about the musicians and to find out when performances are happening, click here.

The Food

What’s a festival without food? Luckily, the festival crew secured vendors that can conquer any craving. Cool off with freshly squeezed lemonade or a snow cone. Fuel up with a sausage sandwich, Greek salad or chicken fried rice. Snack on kettle corn and satisfy your sweet tooth with strudel and a frozen treat.

You can also take home a taste of Central Pennsylvania by purchasing Pennsylvania artisanal food products. Bonfatto’s of Bellefonte, Bevvy’s Gourmet of Harrisburg and Hillbilly’s Beef Jerky of Fort Loudon are just a few of the vendors looking to share their homegrown products with you.

The Fun

In 2009, the festival introduced BookFest, a celebratory event that brings together book lovers of all kinds. On Saturday, gather in the Schlow Library parking lot to meet over 20 authors and artists of comics, webcomics, novels and graphic novels.

Penn State is also hosting an Art of Discovery booth on campus next to Willard Building. Thursday through Saturday, Penn State researchers and students will be conducting interesting demonstrations and hands-on activities. Become a zombie ant through augmented reality, scan the sky with a high-powered telescope or learn about life on a coral reef!

If you’re looking to get active, consider participating in the Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival Races on Sunday. With a 10K, 5K and a Kid’s Fun Run, the whole family can participate. Learn more about the race and register by clicking here.

With so many exciting things happening this weekend, you are sure to have a blast in Happy Valley. Show us how you’re having fun by using #ArtsFest to share your favorite festival moments with fellow festival go-ers and #HappyValleySummer for a chance to be featured on our website. Enjoy the art, the music and the weekend in the best valley around!

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