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Arts Fest attendees come from all over

by on July 18, 2013 10:10 AM

STATE COLLEGE — Traveling from far and wide, Arts Fest attendees have many different reasons for visiting the festival each year, from love of art to the overall experience.

The 2013 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, held July 11 through 14 in downtown State College, drew in people from different corners of the state and beyond, many of them repeat guests for more than 20 years.

“It’s just a nice experience in general,” said Kristyn Lederer of Pennsburg.

An attendee for 41 years, Lederer said she comes with her three kids and niece and nephew for Children and Youth Day Wednesday, and leaves Friday.

One aspect of the festival Lederer enjoys most, she said, is the kid-friendly nature of the artists and vendors.

“(They’re) great for the kids,” she said, explaining that many of them take the time to show the children how certain items are made.

Diane Griffiths, of Lebanon, Pa., said this year is her fourth year attending the festival.

“I like the fact that it’s outdoors,” she said.

Griffiths, who said she is a regular at many different types of art festivals, said she appreciates the varied arts and crafts at Arts Fest, and thinks the prices are reasonable.

“And the people are very friendly,” she added.

Muncy residents Patricia and Harrison McCormick traveled one and a half hours for Arts Fest, they said, and have been coming on and off for about 28 years.

“(We’re) just here for the arts,” Harrison McCormick said. “I like the setting … the whole scene.”

While Patricia McCormick agrees that the overall experience of Arts Fest is something to be admired, she particularly looks forward to seeing the painting, ceramics and jewelry vendors, she said.

State College resident Nada Ottenstein started attending Arts Fest some 40 years ago. This year she spent Thursday volunteering at one of the information booths.

“I’ve been doing this for many years,” she said.

Divided into two-hour time slots, Ottenstein said as a volunteer she sells water and Arts Fest buttons, and assists people by giving information and answering questions about vendors. Some of the most common inquiries, she said, regard those on the search for food or bathrooms.

“I like being helpful to people,” she said.

Ottenstein, who volunteered through the Jewish Community Center-Congregation Brit Shalom, said a refreshing part of Arts Fest is being able to walk around without worry of cars.

“I love walking down streets where I don’t have to have any concern about traffic,” she said.

In its 47th year, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts features presentations of diverse, high-quality visual and performing arts through the cooperative volunteer support of the community and Penn State, according to its website.

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Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
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