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Four Must See Attractions at the Central PA Festival of the Arts

Photo by Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash

Central Pennsylvania is full of fun things to do, no matter the season. But like most states, summer is when everything seems to culminate. One of the most exciting things happening this summer is the 52nd annual Central PA Festival of the Arts which will take place on July 12-15, with children and youth day on July 11th. This festival has so much to offer, but there are a few things in particular that you should make sure not to miss. Read on to find out our four must-see attractions at the Festival of the Arts.

Banner Exhibition and Competition

If you are looking for a colorful event, then look no further than the banner exhibition and competition. Artists submit their banners for the competition and your viewing pleasure. Not only are this year’s banners on display but banners from previous years are also available for viewing, so you’ll be able to enjoy the past entries. The banners will be on display throughout the festival. There are three categories for judging: Professional, General, and Youth. The winners will be announced on the 14th, so don’t miss out on seeing who takes home the prize.

Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition

This outdoor fine arts show is one of the most noteworthy in the nation, as people travel from all over to buy and sell here. The sidewalk is full of vendors displaying their unique wares for you. Every year the festival boasts over 300 vendors and artists who bring their wares to the sidewalk sale. You will be able to find ceramics, baskets, paintings, jewelry, fiber art, photography, and wearable art for sale. Whether you are interested in just taking in all of the crafts and craftsmen or are coming to buy a special something, you will not be disappointed.


The festival has three outdoor stages for musical and other artistic performances. There are also performances that take place in Penn State’s Schwab Auditorium, the State Theatre, the Penn State Downtown Theatre, and the State College Presbyterian Church. With so many stages, there is bound to be something or someone who sparks your interest. Some of the scheduled performances include the Pat Farrell Sing-Along, jazz, bluegrass, folk, rock, concert bands, choral groups, and musical theater.

Street Painting

Have you ever wanted to walk Italian streets admiring street paintings? Well, you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to Italy to enjoy this pastime. Hiester Street will proudly display pictures created by regional, national, local, and student artists. Once you have looked through all of the pieces, you can even participate yourself. For a small fee, you can get pastels and a square to create your own art in.

These are just our four must-see Festival of the Arts attractions, but there are lots more! With so much to experience, be sure you plan enough time to see it all. It promises to be a weekend full of art of all kinds. Whether you go to participate or spectate, you are sure to have a good time. Hope to see you there!

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