Enjoy the Arts Right Here in Happy Valley
One of Happy Valley’s biggest perks is the wealth of arts, music and culture that Penn State University brings into State College. The spring and summer lineups promise ample opportunity for arts entertainment.
WHERE TO GO
Interested in live performances? There are several venues in the area that host regular shows. Check out the Center for the Performing Arts, Bryce Jordan Center and The State Theatre for up-to-date listings of their upcoming performances. You can also find plenty of outdoor performances in the area thanks to the favorable weather of spring and summer in central Pennsylvania.
Center for the Performing Arts
Eisenhower Auditorium is Penn State’s primary theatrical performance space. It has a seating capacity of 2,500 and has been host to many acclaimed performers and productions. The Center for Performing Arts serves as one of Pennsylvania’s major cultural resources and continues to grow and expand since it’s initiation as the Artists Series in 1957.
The State Theatre
The State Theatre is a nonprofit, community-owned theatre that welcomes both local and nationally recognized performers. You can find rock 'n' roll, country, indie and blues; drama, musical theatre, comedy and opera; movies, dance, stand-up and children's programming. They have a packed calendar full of events for everyone. Visit thestatetheatre.org to view the events and book your tickets for a fun-filled season!
The Bryce Jordan Center
The BJC is host to a plethora of large events: PSU basketball, Commencement weekends and large concerts. Construction was finished in January 1996 with 400,000 square feet of multipurpose space. The BJC has been host to multiple headlining stars over the years and their event calendar doesn’t disappoint. For upcoming shows and performances, visit bjc.psu.edu.
Outdoor Events and Community Venues
There are a number of favorable outdoor venues in and around Penn State. The campus itself offers valuable green space that has been used for events and performances, the downtown area offers its streets as a venue multiple times each year and the surrounding rural community takes advantage of the open space.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN 2019
Great events are going on throughout the area for everyone. No matter what your interest in the arts, music or performances, you won’t want to miss out on some of this spring and summer’s greatest productions and performances.
Try out one of the regularly scheduled events to find a new normal for your Friday night. State College area wineries are great place to start. The Happy Valley Vineyard was established 20 years ago and the Happy Valley Winery was added to the property in 2010. Ninety percent of the grapes used to make their wine comes from their vineyards. They are also host to private events and community events, such as their Live Music evenings on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. You’ll enjoy live music and great wine. Visit thehappyvalleywinery.com/events for information on who is performing. Admission is free.
Seven Mountains Wine Cellars also hosts regular “Campfires” on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning in June and running through September. You’ll enjoy great music, food and wine. The $25 campfire season pass will grant entry to six campfires and one complimentary glass of wine at the first campfire attended. Bring extra cash for Smokin’ Hot Butts BBQ, which will be onsite for every campfire.
For seven weeks of summer, Tussey Mountain will host rounds of its famous WingFest. WingFest is much more than local restaurants vying for the title of Tussey Mountain Wing King. It has also been voted the Best Place to See Live Music, and each summer the lineups promise excellent entertainment for guests. The events begin in early July. Parking is free and admission is $5 for those ages 12 and up. Visit tusseymountain.com/wingfest for 2019 dates, and the lineups of participating restaurants and bands. There are six rounds of competition that end with the finals in mid-August.
If you like to participate in the arts, check out Webster’s Books and Café. You can find Sunday music and vegan brunches every Sunday, Argentine Tango every Tuesday, and open mics every third Wednesday. They also offer a host of other community events you can find at webstersbooksandcafe.com/events.
UPCOMING 2019 EVENTS:
May 31–June 1 – Happy Valley Music Fest takes place in downtown State College. The 2019 lineup includes 10,000 Maniacs, Bonerama, The Gabe Stillman Band, The Probables, and many more! The weekend pass is $25. Children 12 and under are free. Visit happyvalleymusicfest.com for more information.
June 21–23 – The Second Annual Central PA Theatre and Dance Festival will be held in downtown State College. Founded by 11 theatre and performing arts companies, the festival includes more than six forms of theatre entertainment; seven founding dance companies featuring more than six types of dance, and professional circus art, dancers and gymnasts. Visit centralpatheatre.com for more information.
June 27 – The State Theatre welcomes The Allman Betts Band on Thursday, June 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45.50–$50.50. Visit thestatetheatre.org to buy your tickets.
July 10-14 – The 53rd Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is July 10–14 through the Penn State Campus and downtown State College. Don’t miss over 300 of the country’s best artists on this sidewalk sale and exhibition. Free performances are offered on three stages throughout the festival. There’s something for every age and interest! Visit arts-festival.com for more information.
August 16-24 – Grange Fair, an annual Centre County event, takes place August 16–24. You can find nationally known entertainment, amusement rides, livestock competitions, equine events, and tractor pulling. The headliners of 2019 include Home Free, Riley Green, Anthem Lights, Sidewalk Prophets, and many more! Visit grangefair.com for more information.