If you’re looking for information about Arts Fest in State College, you’re in the right place!
Arts Fest 2023 runs from Wednesday, July 12 to Sunday, July 16 in downtown State College and on Penn State’s campus.
Arts Fest covers a 1.5 mile loop through downtown State College and across a portion of Penn State’s campus, using portions of South Allen Street, Fairmount Avenue, Fraser Street, West College Avenue, North Burrowes Street, Pollock Road, and Pattee Mall.
If you’ve never attended an Arts Fest in State College, or if it’s been so long you’ve forgotten what it’s like, here’s a rundown on what to expect at Arts Fest in 2023.
Wednesday is Kids Day
Kids Day is Wednesday, a chance for children in Centre and neighboring counties to sell their arts and crafts on South Allen Street.
I’ve been on both sides of the booth on Kids Day, and it’s amazing to see the effort and imagination that goes into the arts and crafts for sale by the area’s youngest artisans.
In fact, I purchased the greatest “Get Well” card ever on Kids Day a few years ago – holding onto it for just the right occasion!
Expect big crowds and lots of “can we buy this” if you take your own kids.
South Allen Street between Beaver Avenue and Calder Way is also transformed into a mini-waterpark – this lasts the entire Arts Fest.
After walking Arts Fest on a July afternoon, the “misting tunnel” feels pretty good.
Thursday through Sunday are the Sidewalk Sales
The “pros” take over the sidewalks Thursday through Sunday, selling everything from sculptures, paintings and decorative glass to jewelry, housewares, and one-of-a-kind clothing.
Arts Fest is consistently ranked as one of the top outdoor fine art and fine craft shows in the nation.
You’ll find some of the country’s most talented artists in a wide variety of media at Arts Fest.
The Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.
As you walk along the South Allen Street portion of the sidewalk sale, you’ll notice banners everywhere, a tradition since the the first Arts Fest in 1967.
You’ll also encounter several outdoor performance stages along the route of Arts Fest, featuring everything from bluegrass to rock to jazz to gospel music.
And of course, there are TONS of food booths, selling everything from chicken on a stick to healthy foods I can’t pronounce.
Penn State Creamery ice cream is a particular favorite in my family, available along the campus portion of Arts Fest, near the Obelisk.
Astrofest is a four-night festival of astronomy activities and stargazing at Penn State’s Davey Laboratory, coinciding with Arts Fest from Wednesday, July 13, through Saturday, July 16.
Astrofest runs from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. each night, and weather-permitting, visitors can use the rooftop observatory telescopes to see firsthand views of stars, planets, and the craters on the moon.
As a long-time resident of State College, I view Arts Fest as a sort of summer homecoming, when friends I may see only once or twice a year make their way back to town for the festivities.
From the art to the bands to the food to the people-watching, Arts Fest in State College is an event well worth checking out!
Centre Furnace Mansion in State College served as the home for a series of “iron masters” in the late 1700s through the mid 1800s.
This magnificently restored Victorian-style home is also the birthplace of Farmers High School in 1855, a school that would grow into what is known today as Penn State University.
The Columbus Chapel in Boalsburg contains the largest and most important collection of Christopher Columbus artifacts and memorabilia on the North American continent!
The Arboretum at Penn State is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Penn State’s main campus in State College.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg honors the service of Pennsylvanians in all branches of the military, from colonial times to the present day.
29 Must-See Attractions in Centre County is your guide to even more great things to see and do when visiting the “Happy Valley” region!
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