Plan your summer the right way

So you think all the excitement is gone from Happy Valley just because school is finished and the students are gone? Think again! Happy Valley has so many exciting summer events, you'd better start planning now to fit them all in.

We Are! That's right, the first ever We Are Weekend is coming up June 1-3, and there is a definite buzz in the air. Attending alums get a behind-the-scenes look at Beaver Stadium and the new Pegula Ice Arena. While in town, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Arboretum and check out the Pattee-Paterno Library among many other events!  

Are antiques and flea markets more your style? Be sure to hit up the Nittany Antique Machinery Show, June 1-3, at Penns Cave. The flea market will host more than 700 vendors who can help you find your perfect treasure. But the real stars of the show are the 800-plus tractors and 800-plus campers on display with more than 40 parts vendor on site.

Do you love classic cars? Then Bellefonte is the place for you during Father's Day weekend, June 15-16. Check out some of the best cars in the region as they compete for the "Best in Show" title at the Bellefonte Cruise. The cruise will also feature live music and food, as well as a Sock-Hop on the diamond on Friday.

Speaking of Father's Day, take your father to see the State College Spikes' season opener on June 16, starting at 7:05 p.m. They will be playing against Williamsport in the second game of a three-game series. Make sure you and Dad stop by early for an opening night tailgate and stick around after the game for a fireworks spectacular

For football fans, the Lift for Life on June 30, is a must-see event. It's a chance to see your favorite Penn State football players up close and personal, all for a great cause. Players spend the afternoon lifting weights, moving tires and competing under the hot sun, all benefiting the Uplifting Athletes nonprofit.

Head over to the Bryce Jordan Center to enjoy the best fireworks show you'll see anywhere, at Central PA 4th Fest. It’s been rated one of the best 4th of July fireworks shows in the nation. But it's not just about the fireworks, spectacular as they are. You can run in their 4K and 4M races, and runners of all ages are encouraged to participate. They will also hold the Independence Day Parade to celebrate local heroes in our community.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the 52nd Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. It will be held July 12-15 and will have Youth Day on June 11. Browse the stalls for more than 300 of the country's best selling artists to find the perfect piece of art for you. Don't forget about the entertainment. There will be three free performances on outdoor stages, in addition to small acts on local plazas. We'll see you there!

Central Pennsylvania truly is home to some of the best festivals. The People's Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts is held July 12-15. It features fine art, live music and so many food choices you won't know where to start!

Summer is the perfect time to check out our local farmers markets – the North Atherton and Downtown State College farmers markets to be exact. Pick up some delicious, locally grown produce and locally raised meats, as well as delightful handmade soaps and so much more. Be sure to bring more than one bag — you're gonna need it!

Want to make a weekend of it? Check out the best Happy Valley hotels and B&Bs. Whether you want a scenic view or to be right in the heart of town, we've got the perfect stay for you. Don't forget to check out our local and historic restaurants while you're here, to make your trip perfectly complete.

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