Central PA Gluten Free Expo set for Nov. 5 at the Penn Stater Conference Center

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Adhering to a gluten-free lifestyle can be frustrating for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities and allergies, but a local event was created in 2013 to help deal with those challenges. The fifth annual Central PA Gluten Free Expo will take place at the Penn Stater Conference Center on Sunday, Nov. 5. 

More than 1,000 people will gather to enjoy a celebration of all things gluten-free, with the goal of making their lifestyle easier to maintain. The event will include 50 local and national vendors, educational presentations, door prizes and gluten-free samples.

The expo will be open to the public from 12:30 to 5:30 pm. There will be a kids' activity zone, with gluten-free play dough and face painting, courtesy of Better Batter. General admission advance tickets are on sale now or can be purchased at the door. Youth ages 16 and under can attend free if accompanied by an adult.

Many companies represented at the event have carved out a gluten-free niche by producing products that are difficult to replicate or find in a gluten-free form, such as the soft pretzels produced by Tonya's Gluten-Free Kitchen, based in Newmanstown, Pennsylvania. Another unique product that will be sampled is Gee Free Foods' puff pastry, currently the only gluten-free version available commercially in the United States.

"Finally, those who love to cook have the option of creating whatever they want, whenever they want," said food consultant Susan Hougui, who co-founded the company. "Beloved family recipes that once seemed lost forever due to health concerns can now faithfully be recreated."

Expo exhibitors will be sampling, selling and discussing products and services at the event. Gluten-free foods available for sample or purchase at the event will include breads, nuts, funnel cake mixes, pizza, pastries, vegan burger patties, pizzelles and baking mixes. 

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Nicholas Inverso of the Penn State Medical Group Endoscopy Center in State College. Other presentations this year include a gluten-free cooking demonstration by a Wegmans chef; and "Traveling When Gluten-Free," which will be presented by author Melinda Arcara, known as “Gluten-Free Bebe," and travel expert Dana Zificsak.

Support group Gluten Free State College and Sentinel Events are hosting the event.

Central PA Gluten Free Expo Schedule:

  • 12:30 p.m. — Vendor area open to general admission ticket holders
  • 1:15 p.m. — "Celiac Disease," KEYNOTE Session by Dr. Nicholas Inverso
  • 2:30 p.m. — "Traveling When Gluten-Free," by Melinda Arcara and Dana
  • 3:45 p.m. — Wegmans Cooking Demonstration

Admission: $9, ages 16 and under free. At the door cost is $12. Parking is free for the expo.

Further information can be found at www.glutenfreeexpopa.com or on social media at www.twitter.com/PAGFExpo or www.facebook.com/CentalPAGFExpo, or by contacting Matthew Bolich at mbolich@connectingglutenfree.com or 717-994-4373.

Last Updated September 21, 2017