South Allen Street was filled with kids Wednesday — some with faces painted, others holding treasures they purchased from their peers.
Children and Youth Day kicked off the 51st Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts with a children’s sidewalk sale, performances and other activities.
Budding artists sold their goods — everything from homemade slime to fidget spinners — and showed off their talents.
Walking through the crowd, there was one item that it seemed like every other festival goer had: a ball catcher.
It’s a twist on the tradition ball in a cup, a toy that originated in the 16th century and has taken various forms since then.
Victoria Stauffer’s brightly colored and patterned ball catchers were a hit, with 150 sold by about noon — two hours into the sidewalk sale.
Stauffer, 17, of Maryland, has been selling them for three years. This year, she made 250 to sell.
“Kids really enjoy playing it,” she said.
The ball catchers attracted kids and adults alike to Stauffer’s booth to try them out.
It suits every age, said Stauffer’s grandma, Susan, of Zion.
Even the little ones who can’t do it just like to put the ball in the cup, Susan Stauffer said.
The booth caught the attention of Stella Brown, 8, of Baltimore.
“It’s very cool,” Stella said.
She got the ball in the cup twice and chose a purple ball catcher with flowers on it.
Stella’s mom, Kim Yamas, grew up in the area and even participated in the festival when she was a kid.
Yamas sold braided headbands in the ’80s, and she said kids’ day is so much bigger now.
It used to only be on the first block of South Allen Street, Yamas said.
Arts Fest continues through Sunday, with the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition drawing more than 300 artists from across the country. Performances and other events take place throughout the festival.