Countdown to Summer in Happy Valley

When you bleed blue and white, it’s easy to get caught up counting down the days until you’re back at Beaver Stadium tailgating with your friends and cheering on the Nittany Lions. But we're here to help you make the most of every sunny day and warm evening until then.

Happy Valley always brings its A-game. No matter what season it is, you’re sure to find a variety of unique activities and events to take part in. From art shows to outdoor adventures, your summer will be packed full of fun.

Here’s a look at some of the events you can look forward to!

Spikes Season Opener

June 16 | Medlar Field at Lubrano Park

Baseball season in Happy Valley officially starts on June 16 when the State College Spikes, Class A Short Season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, take on the rival Williamsport Crosscutters at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes will seek their third championship since 2014 and will play 38 home games this season. The Spikes always offer great promotions so check www.statecollegespikes.com to find out when fan favorites such as Bark in the Park and Cowboy Monkey Rodeo will return to town.

4th Fest

July 4 | East Campus

One of the best fireworks shows in the country takes place right here in Happy Valley — following a full day of activities for all ages. There’s no better place to be for Independence Day. The full-day affair includes 4K and 4-mile races for all ages, as well as the Parade of Heroes to recognize local heroes and honor all those who work hard to keep us safe. Throughout the day, there will be music at four different venues, activities for children and teens, and of course, plenty of fair food. Visit www.4thfest.org for a full list of events.

Arts Fest

July 12-15 | Downtown State College

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts, better known as Arts Fest, is tradition here in Happy Valley. The annual event brings over 125,000 people to downtown State College every July. This year, the 52nd festival will be held on July 12-15 and will feature the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, live musical performances, children’s activities, a street painting festival, and great food. Visit www.arts-festival.com for a daily schedule of events and updated list of vendors and performers.

People’s Choice Festival of the Arts

July 12-15 | Pennsylvania Military Museum

State College isn’t the only place you’ll find art for sale and live music on July 12-15. Boalsburg offers its own unique event on those same days at the Pennsylvania Military Museum — and it’s worth the trip! This annual arts and crafts festival features some of Central Pennsylvania’s most talented artisans in addition to local wine, food, and family entertainment. You can find additional information, including a list of vendors, at www.peopleschoicefestival.com.

State College Brew Expo

August 11 | Tussey Mountain

What Happy Valley resident, Penn State alum, or visitor doesn’t love craft beer? Try the best Happy Valley has to offer on August 11 at State College Brew Expo at Tussey Mountain. Proceeds benefit Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State.

WingFest at Tussey Mountain

For the past two decades, hungry crowds have been making their way to WingFest at Tussey Mountain on Thursdays in the summertime. Local restaurants set up shop and serve up their delicious wings — all for a chance to be named the Tussey Mountain Wing King! Start taste testing and keep track of your favorite so you can place your vote at the end of the night. 

Will your favorite vendor take the Wing King crown from the 2017 winner Kelly’s Steak & Seafood? Find out during the highly anticipated finals!

WingFest has also established itself as a hotspot for live entertainment, so each night you’ll enjoy tunes from a local band.

Tussey Mountain Adventures

WingFest certainly isn’t the only fun you’ll find at Tussey Mountain. It’s an outdoor-lover’s paradise with activities to keep the whole family busy, including go-karts, mini golf, a driving range, a skate park, batting cages and more. You can even stick around for one of their popular “Movies on the Mountain” on select Fridays throughout the summer. Grab a lawn chair and some blankets and enjoy a flick under the stars with your family or friends. And don’t forget the snacks! Offerings include classic movie popcorn, candy, hot dogs, ice cream, soda and even beer.

If you’re looking for some live entertainment on a warm summer evening, be sure to check out what performances will be taking place at Tussey Mountain’s Amphitheater. It’s an outdoor music experience like no other in Central PA thanks to incredible acoustics created by the mountainous terrain and beautiful sunsets overlooking Happy Valley. Over the years, the amphitheater has featured performances by nationally recognized artists such as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, and Rusted Root as well as local favorites, including Pure Cane Sugar, Velveeta, My Hero Zero, and many more. Stay tuned to www.tusseymountain.com for upcoming shows!

Happy Valley Traditions

There are some summer traditions you just can’t break. Don’t forget about these favorites you can do any day this summer.

  • Hike Mount Nittany
  • Take a trip to Raystown Lake in Huntingdon (just a 45-minute drive) for some hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or swimming. Visit www.raystown.org for more information.
  • Visit the Arboretum at Penn State any day, from dawn to dusk. In addition to beautiful flowers and foliage, there are plenty of benches where you can rest or read a book, as well as the Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden, where kids can explore nature and learn about the plants, animals, and geography of central Pennsylvania.

With so many fun activities to participate in and beautiful places to visit this summer, fall and football season will be here before you know it. You’ll be back in the stands cheering on the Nittany Lions, showing off the last remnants of a tan from your summer days spent soaking up the best that Happy Valley has to offer. 

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