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Dust Settles After Another Lively Festival Weekend Wraps Up

by on July 13, 2015 11:00 AM

The busiest weekend of central Pennsylvania’s summer has come to an end.

State College, Boalsburg, and even Lemont were transformed into meccas of art, music, and food. 

The 49th Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the 23rd People's Choice Festival wrapped up on Sunday after half a week of artistic celebration.

And with that, the 52-week countdown to next year’s festival weekend begins yet again for the many faithful annual attendees.

“I’m already thinking about next year and today’s not even over yet,” Eva Ratner said on Sunday. “I love football and I love things like FourthFest and all that, but this is really the one thing I look forward to all year long. This is a weekend that represents what we’re all about here and shows it off for anyone to come and see.”

The two festivals converted downtown State College, Penn State’s campus, and the Pennsylvania Military Museum lawn into art bazaars, lined with tents selling everything from handmade wooden furniture to tubas repurposed as iPhone amplifiers. Music is constantly in the mix, with acts both local and from afar taking the stage to entertain the masses who flock to town for the festivals.

There are few State College-based bands that draw a crowd like Pure Cane Sugar can. Fronted by a trio of women with powerful voices, this rock band brings plenty of energy to its live sets without fail. The band was one of many to play ArtsFest, but it had Allen Street packed shoulder-to-shoulder for a Saturday afternoon set. 

“They’re so great. I try and see them whenever I can,” Paul Teirian says. “Just a lot of fun to watch and sing along with and dance a little bit. This is a great weekend for music lovers or arts lovers or even food lovers.”

As much as the vendors love coming to State College and Boalsburg for the two festivals, the town loves having them. Sharon Herlocher of the locally famous mustard family says she tries to be as welcoming as possible to vendors. While children run a charitable lemonade stand in front of her house each year, the Herlochers invite vendors and friends into their front yard for some food and fun.

“We always try and have some vendors join us and take a break from the festival when they can,” she says. “This is one of our favorite weekends.”

Just a short drive away, the Lemont Village Green was enjoying a celebration for a festival of its own: the inaugural LemontFest. With a small handful of vendors in the grain elevator, Otto's on tap for some beer tastings, and a packed lineup of musicians, the festival is looking to work its way into the scene.

“It’s a much quieter alternative. It’s more relaxing than the other festivals, which is a nice change of pace,” Joan Paulsen says. “I just wanted to come by and check it out. It’s always nice when there’s something new and different going on.”

And so the countdown to the half-century mark for ArtsFest, the 24th year of People's Choice, and the second annual LemontFest officially begins.


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Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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