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

South Allen Street Closed for the Arts Festival, Construction Underway

by on July 08, 2013 3:31 PM

It's a sure sign the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is quickly approaching. South Allen Street is closed to traffic until Sunday.  Crews started setting up at 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Landscape II, a landscape design company, is handling the job. By Tuesday afternoon, a pile of boulders sat in the middle of the street. The sound of a chainsaw filled the air as workers started piecing together the displays.

On Tuesday, landscape crews will be planting all of the flowers and various shrubs in a road that's normally jammed with traffic. Preparing the layout for the plants takes about two to three weeks, says Damien Grunthaner, a hardscaping foreman and equipment operator.

His construction crew expects to work through any rain that might move through the area, he says, so everything should be set up on schedule. About eight hours in, Grunthaner says the construction is going well so far. 

Grunthaner says not a lot changes from year-to-year except for the planting scheme, which features a different design with each new festival.

Around 2 p.m. Monday, construction crews were constructing two of the booths for children's day, which is scheduled for Wednesday. One of the most popular booths is filled with overhead water buckets. Kids love to run underneath as the buckets sway back and forth, dumping water on anyone caught below.

The area is off limits to cars and bicycles. But cars can still drive down College and Beaver Avenues.

The Arts Festival begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday. More than 300 artists from around the country will come to showcase their work at a sidewalk sale, and there will also be live music, food booths and activities for the entire family. Check out the Arts Festival schedule here.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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