Our View | Festivals galore across the county

July 9, 2013 

One of the busiest and most fun-filled weeks of the year has arrived. And it’s even bigger in 2013.

A service Tuesday evening at Trinity United Methodist Church in Philipsburg launches Heritage Days, which runs through Sunday.

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts kicks off with Children’s Day activities Wednesday, and the arts festival’s huge four-day sidewalk sale arrives on Thursday.

Also Thursday, we welcome back the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts for four days of booth displays, food and music in Boalsburg.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival moves to Centre Hall for four days of music starting Thursday at the Grange fairgrounds.

All we need now is some cooperation from the weather.

Heritage Days committee Chairman Jim Pollock said the Philipsburg event has a “family reunion feel to it.”

He added, “We offer really good wholesome family entertainment,” and he could have been talking about any of the big local events this week.

Heritage Days will have children’s activities and live music galore. History buffs will enjoy the “Lincoln’s Generals” shows. The week includes a fireworks display Saturday and a car show Sunday.

“It’s going to be great,” Pollock said.

So will the bluegrass festival, which for its seventh year moves to Centre Hall from Reedsville.

Featuring the Pennsylvania act Remington Ryde, based in McClure, the event will showcase more than 20 bands. Performances are scheduled from midday through the evening all week. The host band will perform three times.

The People’s Choice Festival at the Pennsylvania Military Museum grounds in Boalsburg has been drawing art lovers since 1993. The festival features only Pennsylvania artists and welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

People’s Choice features two stages for live performances and a kids’ area complete with face painting and a petting zoo.

And, of course, the region boasts one of the premier events in the country in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Wednesday’s Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale and Grand Procession will launch the festival, which runs through the weekend and showcases more than 300 visual artists and 40 diverse musical acts.

Arts Fest has been a Centre County jewel since the show’s inception in 1967, and now attracts more than 125,000 people to the streets of downtown State College and the Penn State campus.

Earlier this year, it was No. 5 on the list of top summer festivals, according to Livability.com. In 2012, Sunshine Artist magazine had Arts Fest at No. 2 among its 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows in America.

Executive Director Rick Bryant said the arts festival brings “a good experience for everyone.”

The week’s remarkable events offer a variety of culture and entertainment options while providing a strong boost to our region’s economy.

We urge our readers to visit these festivals — from Centre Hall to Boalsburg to Philipsburg and in the heart of State College.

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