Lemont Fest aims to please ‘small crowd’ people

Local artists, including Sean Bodley, whose work is pictured above, will be showcased at the new Lemont Fest.
Local artists, including Sean Bodley, whose work is pictured above, will be showcased at the new Lemont Fest. Photo provided

Every July for more than four decades, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts has showcased an endless number of talented local artists and entertained residents of the State College area and beyond. But there is another festival taking place within the small town of Lemont, offering local residents an alternative to the large crowded events in the area on that particular weekend of the month.

The Lemont Village Association will host something new this year: an art, music and food festival called “Lemont Fest,” in the Granary and on the Lemont Village Green July 10-12. Parking will be available throughout Lemont and via van shuttles to the Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church, 1500 E. Branch Road.

“About two years ago I had a dream while I was sleeping about a cool, chill, small event in Lemont,” said Amanda Kunkel, Lemont artist, Lemont Village Association board member and director of Lemont Fest. “I grew up in State College and have 32 years of memories about the Arts Festival, which are all good. But I’m a small crowd person.”

Kunkel was actually working on the Lemont winter market when the idea for Lemont Fest came to her. She had a clicker at winter market, and 800 people came through in just one and a half days, no more than 100 per hour. “I wanted to give the small, upcoming artist an affordable and enterable market,” she said. “And seriously important to note, small does not mean untalented — they are talented and they are amazing. They need to break into the market. As an independent artist I know this.”

The goal of Lemont Fest is to support local independent makers and enhance community engagement. More than 20 vendors with booths will be set up inside the grain elevator, with a possibility for four outside tented artists. Local food and beverage vendors will be located in the Coal Sheds.

Musicians will play during the event on the Village Green stage and other artistic activities will also take place on the Green. Speeder rides will be offered by the Bellefonte Historic Railroad Society on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm.

“For activities we will also have a drumming circle, palm reader, and a Henna tattoo person, and they each will charge a small amount,” Kunkel said. “For the speeder train rides on Saturday and Sunday, kids can come out and get a ride for only $3.”

Proceeds will benefit the Lemont Village Association’s Granary Project. Food will be provided by Food for Thought, Brazilian Munchies, and many other vendors. Otto’s Pub and Brewery will also be available at the event with beer tastings.

“I’m just excited for these amazing artists, bands, and the gathering, because we are definitely unique,” Kunkel said. “It is an amazing community we have here.”