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Culture Crawl Brings New Monthly Festival to Downtown State College

by on May 08, 2018 3:05 PM

A new monthly festival will showcase art, vendors and music while providing a draw for shops and restaurants in downtown State College.

The State College Culture Crawl will debut on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., with portions of Calder Way and Allen Street closed off to vehicles for the event.

Tom Tate, owner of The Branch and the Vine, 246 E. Calder Way, has been working to organize the Culture Crawl, with the help of a committee for about the past year. Formerly a resident of Columbus, Ohio, Tate said the event was inspired by that city's Gallery Hop.

"I think State College needs more art and more support for artists here," Tate said. "We don’t have as many art galleries as Columbus so I’m trying to get stores involved and make them miniature art galleries, which I think will also draw business into their stores as well."

Some stores, including The Branch and the Vine, Appalachian Outdoors and Connections will host artwork inside their shops. Since its Mother's Day, several businesses will have carnations for the first 10 women inside and Appalachian Outdoors will have free wine glasses while supplies last.

Vendors will be located on two sections of Calder Way -- from Locust Lane to Heister Street and McAllister Street to South Allen Street. Tate said all of the vendors offer handmade products including jewelry, pottery, candles, wood products, hair products, kombucha and even dog clothes.

Some vendors include Mount Nitanee Kombucha, Carl Jackson Designs, Homegrown Flavor Company, Moonrise Candles, Adriana Pena and many others.

About a half dozen musical acts also will perform throughout the day. In the future, other entertainment will be included in the mix as well, with Happy Valley Improv already scheduled for June.

Tate said that stores around downtown will have sidewalk sales, and some restaurants will have dinner and drink specials. He added that he hopes free parking on Sundays downtown will also help to entice visitors.

"People are very excited about it," Tate said. "I had customers in my store from Bradford who said they would come to every single one... I’m hoping people from surrounding communities will come in for it."

The Culture Crawl will be held mostly on the second Sunday of each month, with the exception of special event weekends, such as Penn State Homecoming in October.

"Hopefully it’s going to grow and we’ll get more vendors who want to sign on, more entertainers," Tate said. "And I’m hoping [attendees] support the small businesses and it draws them into their stores."

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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