10 Best Summer Festivals



State College, PA

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo: Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

Streets become masterpieces, sidewalks become galleries and the city of State College becomes the art capital of the region during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

More than 100,000 people attend this five-day celebration of artwork, music and culture, which features more than 300 of the nation's best artists. Nearly 1,000 artists vie for a spot in the festival's sidewalk art sale and exhibition, according to festival organizers, who set aside booth space on the Penn State University Park campus for regional artists.

"Both town and campus are filled with a fun mix of locals and tourists as they gather together to look at art, hear music or just have a good time over a bite to eat," says Rick Bryant, festival director. "Hotels and restaurants are filled, and everywhere from fine dining establishments to student dive bars roll out the red carpet for weekend visitors."

A Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale precedes the festival, giving young, aspiring artists a chance to show and sell their artwork. Other events encourage people to explore the town, as well. The city closes several downtown streets, so artists can cover them with original and famous paintings, a local running club holds three races, the Schlow Centre Region Library holds a BookFest, and Penn State football players test their strength and endurance in a weight lifting event that raises money for kidney cancer awareness and assistance.   

When: July

What: Sidewalk art sale and exhibition, musical performances, Italian Street Painting Festival, races, book fest

Cost: Free for outdoor shows; $10 button allows admittance to indoor art shows

Average Attendance: More than 100,000

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