Changes due to construction, new food and more: What to know about Arts Fest 2019

Even if you’re a regular at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, there are some changes to know about this year.

Rick Bryant, executive director of Arts Fest, said they’ve been working since New Year’s Day to line up new artists, exciting vendors and entertainment that hasn’t been seen at Arts Fest in the past.

“Change is coming. We have moved some of the events around, and we brought in some new vendors,” Bryant said.

One Arts Fest fixture, street painting, will move to what Bryant thinks will be a more prominent location this year.

This event usually took place on Hiester Street, but due to construction will be moved to Foster Avenue near South Allen Street.

“We’re hoping that this change will bring in more people, and it’s open to everyone,” Bryant said.

For the main event, the sidewalk art sale, there will be some new faces under those tents. Bringing in more artists from across the country keeps the festival interesting, Bryant said.

“Walk around the sidewalk sale and seeing artists from around 30 states has always been my favorite part,” Bryant said.

The festivities will also include live music throughout the weekend with three live stages for visitors to check out.

These stages will be located on Old Main Lawn, Sidney Friedman Park and Allen Street with bands such as the Nittany Dreamers, Western Range, Below Centre and many more.

Last year an estimated 125,000 people were in State College for Arts Fest, and about 15% of those guests were from out of state, according to Bryant.

“We are used to having artists from all over the place, but to have guests is a whole other thing,” Bryant said.

Bryant also encourages all guests to buy a $10 button, which will allow the guests to go to selected events throughout the festival. Children without a button will enter for free, but those without will have to pay for the event.

“It’s a really good idea, and helps us continue bringing Arts Fest around every year,” Bryant said.

These selected performances include comedian Greg Warren on Friday at 10 p.m. in The State Theatre, Happy Valley Improv, and many more can’t miss opportunities.

Not only will Arts Fest fulfill your artistic side, but it will also make sure you don’t go home hungry.

As for food options, Maine Bay & Berry will join the fleet of food trucks this year, offering crabcakes, lobster rolls and other tasty creations.

“It’s a great addition, and I’m excited to see how it does,” Bryant said.