State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Arts Fest Brings Alumni, Students Back to State College

by on July 11, 2014 7:05 AM

Each summer, Arts Fest is a homecoming of sorts for people who've left the State College community.

Overall, more than 100,000 people -- some of whom travel many miles -- show up for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Among returning Penn State alumni and students, the Creamery ice cream booth is a favorite stop. There was almost always a line for the ice cream on Thursday, especially during the sunny afternoon hours.

Many alumni, including Richard Rentschler, Class of 1975, sit at tables with friends to enjoy the ice cream. Rentschler who was eating a bowl of Death by Chocolate says he especially likes Arts Fest because he gets to see so many familiar faces.

"I love Penn State. I see the community spirit during the festival," Rentschler says. "Just sitting here with friends - this is a beautiful time of year."

Scattered throughout downtown State College and Penn State's campus, the works of more than 300 artists are displayed. Vendors come from all over the country to showcase their art during the four-day festival. Acceptance into the festival is based on a rigorous application process. 

There is something there for all art aficionados -- scarves, chairs, belts, mirrors, sculptures, paintings and much, much more. There is even music, dance and theatrical performances in outdoor and indoor venues.

For one vendor, Arts Fest is a familiar tradition. Zachary Brosious, who graduated from Penn State in 2007, says he enjoyed coming to Arts Fest as a student and has been selling custom-made wooden furniture for the past two years.

His furniture sold well last year, so he's hoping for similar results this time around.

"I just like being on campus and talking to the people here," Brosious says. "This festival is nice because of the wide variety of people."

Arts Fest attracts artists from all over the country. Lindi Miller, traveled all the way from Gainesville, Florida to sell her creations.

Her business, Funky Fusions, sells kiln-fired glass each year, created by melting together pieces of colored glass.

Miller says she's found Arts Fest visitors to be very receptive to her art. She looks forward to coming each July because of the good atmosphere of the festival.

The Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Along with art exhibits, there will be music performances, including The Blind Spots, a rock band from Ithaca, N.Y. The band will perform Friday at 10 p.m. at the Festival Shell Stage.

For more information, including a schedule of events, click HERE.

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Photo Gallery - Arts Festival July 10

Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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