STATE COLLEGE — The 200 block of South Allen Street will be bustling with people and activities as the 20th Annual Downtown Fall Festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In 1999, the event took root when youngsters were invited to the downtown to Growing Tree Toys on Allen Street to simply decorate pumpkins with stickers. Now, two decades later, that basic activity has grown into a fall favorite in the Centre Region.
“The event was started by Growing Tree (Toys) 20 years ago by decorating pumpkins outside of their store,” said Rob Schmidt, executive director of Downtown State College Improvement District, “and, it has just expanded from that day.”
The event is family friendly and kid oriented, said Schmidt, noting the “very popular” bounce house and pony rides, as well as a fun house to explore and facepainting.
Several vendors will also be on site, including Carl’s Crazy Corn, Rosie’s Pierogies and Duck Donuts. Schmidt said hot cider will also be available.
According to the executive director, the popularity of the event is due to the variety of activities.
“It really stands out, again, with the variety, and with the signature aspect of it, which is still decorating the pumpkins,” Schmidt said. “People are a bit surprised the first time they come because of the different things going on.”
Schmidt knows this first hand. He said he took his kids to Growing Tree Toys to decorate pumpkins that very first year.
“It’s just a tradition that has been around for 20 years that people look forward to,” he said.
Schmidt said the festival will fill almost the entire 200 block of Allen Street, between the library and municipal building. There is no cost to attend.