Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts returns July 8

June 30, 2015

The 49th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will take place Wednesday, July 8, through Sunday, July 12, on the streets of downtown State College and the adjacent Penn State campus.

Founded by the State College Chamber of Commerce and Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture, the festival attracts about 125,000 visitors each summer. The festival features the nationally recognized Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, a juried gallery exhibition, Children and Youth Day, the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival, educational opportunities, music, dance and theatrical performances in a variety of outdoor and indoor venues.

The 2015 Arts Festival commences with Children and Youth Day on July 8, which features programs and events designed especially for the young and young at heart. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Children & Youth Sidewalk Sale, sponsored by Penn State Federal Credit Union, will be held on South Allen Street. More than 250 young Central Pennsylvania artists are expected to showcase their original works.

Other Children and Youth Day activities include free creative activities on the Old Main Lawn and in State College’s Sidney Friedman Park. Musical and dance performances tailored to the young will take place at various stages around town thanks to 10 local student ensembles and performing arts schools. At 4 p.m., the 2015 Centre Daily Times Children and Youth Day Grand Procession will begin. More than 300 children (accompanied by some parents) will carry small, medium and large papier-mâché puppets, masks and drums. The procession will begin on the Old Main lawn and travel through downtown State College as it makes its way to Sidney Friedman Park.

Also, the Pat Farrell Community Sing-Along will be at 7:30 p.m. July 8 in the State College Presbyterian Church. 

At 10 a.m. July 9, the award winning Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition will open. Sidewalk Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The works of more than 300 exhibitors comprise one of the nation’s best juried fine art and craft shows. A panel of five jurors will award more than $17,500 in prize money to winning exhibitors during a ceremony at 9 a.m. July 11 at the Allen Street Stage.

Six Pennsylvania artisanal food producers will be selling their products at Foster Avenue and South Allen Street. Hours of the artisanal food area will be the same as those for the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition. Participating food merchants include Gemelli Bakers, Tait Farm Foods, Razz’s Shagbark Hickory Syrup, Red Hawk Premium Peppers, Bevvy’s Gourmet and Village Eatinghouse.

he 2015 Silent Auction will be in its traditional spot on the 100 block of South Allen Street. The Silent Auction opens at noon July 9. It is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and SaturdaySunday hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Proceeds of the Silent Auction help to defray the costs of the festival.

"Images 2015," an exhibition of drawings, paintings, mixed media, photography, hand-pulled prints, watercolors, fiber and paper, will hang in Schlow Centre Region Library and in the Woskob Family Gallery of the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center in July. Both galleries are located on South Allen Street in downtown State College. "Images 2015" is open to artists whose primary residence is in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Artists enter the show by submitting digital images of work created in the last three years. The works in Images have been selected by juror Scott Dimond, curator for visual arts at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto.

The 2015 Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival honors the 16th century Italian tradition of using special chalks to paint on the street. Look for the Italian Street Painting Festival on the 100 block of Hiester Street. A variety of local visual artists will create 6-foot by 4-foot paintings. For a $5 fee, Young Artists Alley gives children the opportunity to create a square street painting. Painting ends at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday, weather permitting. The Italian Street Painting Festival is sponsored by the Downtown State College Improvement District.

The sixth annual BookFestPa will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in the Schlow Centre Region Library and the library’s BookFest tent in the library’s parking lot. The theme of this year’s bookfest is the comic. This year’s featured authors include Collin Colsher, Jay Hosler and Joel Priddy. There will be an additional 10 authors in the BookFest tent. For more information go to bookfestpa.org.

This year, the festival presents folk music by Hughes, Kidder and Rounds. Since playing their last show with the band Cartoon in July 2012, Randy Hughes, Glenn Kidder and Jon Rounds have worked on new original songs via email and play music whenever they’re in the same room. They will perform at 8 p.m. July 11 in the State College Presbyterian Church. (A CPFA button is required for admission.)

Not So Silent Cinema will present the silent film "The Mark of Zorro" at 8 p.m. July 11 at the State Theatre. Not So Silent Cinema is the project of New York composer Brendan Cooney. Cooney pulls together different groups for each of his film projects, creating diverse mash-ups of musical personalities from different music scenes to create lively new platforms for interaction and creativity. (CPFA button required.)

Entrain, the eclectic Martha’s Vineyard-based six piece band will perform at 7:30 p.m. July 11 at the Festival Shell Stage. Their performance is sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association.

While most performances are free, some require a festival button. They are good for the entire festival and grant admission on a space available basis to all indoor events. For more information, go to arts-festival.com.

The Nittany Valley Running Club’s 40th annual 10-K, 5-K and 10-mile run will take place at 8:15 a.m. July 12. The Kids’ Fun Run will start at 11 a.m., the races are runs of a quarter-mile to a half-mile for kids ages 12 and younger. For registration and additional race information, visit nvrun.com.

Parking will be available for a fee at Jordan East parking lot, next to the Bryce Jordan Center and Beaver Stadium. Visitors may park and take a free bus operated by the Centre Area Transportation Authority. Bus service will stop in the festival zone at the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival at the corner of College and Hiester, and at College Avenue and South Allen Street.

For more information, go to arts-festival.com

Last Updated July 14, 2015