Families, friends, neighbors and visitors will experience the tradition of the 32ndannual Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair, with more artists, food vendors and entertainment than ever before.
Founded by Jeri Galaida and Donna Goldman, active members of Bellefonte’s downtown community, the fair started as a way to showcase local art and bring visitors to the downtown area.
“The park is a serene setting with the Big Spring running through the park, nice walking paths, trees, ducks and friendly people,” said Debbie Hamilton, director of the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair. “People attending the fair will feel that this is a place that they can come visit returning artists, meet new ones, see old friends, relax and listen to music under the tent, have some great food and let their children be entertained with activities.”
The fair features a wide variety of art — metal workings, leather craft, photography, paintings, jewelry, handmade soap, hand-blown glass, pottery, stained glass — with youth artist sales on Aug. 15.
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The fair also includes delectable delights from some of the area’s finest concessionaires, including pork sandwiches from Scott’s Roasting, cheesesteaks and hot sausage from Jerry Snyder Concessions, Colonel Pacoe’s Kettle Korn, Bob’s Funnel Cakes, apple dumplings and peach cobbler from M&S Concessions, ice cream and milk shakes from Cogan’s Concessions, to name just a few.
“Hometown Bellefonte” will also be back this year, supported by the fair committee and the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce. Located on the brick walkway next to the train station, “Hometown Bellefonte” provides an opportunity for businesses and organizations to showcase their merchandise or services.
Every year, entertainment for the fair is determined by what the audience likes, and many bands return by request. Featured artists include Callandish, the Jay Vonada Quartet, Pure Cane Sugar Band, Steve Van Hook, and Blind Horse Wagon, Strait and Miller, the Briggadiers and the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners.
The Bellefonte Community Band, a group of 50 dedicated volunteer musicians of all ages, will share their love of music by performing a variety of tunes, including marches, contemporary and classic compositions and novelty tunes. Ram-A-Lama, an a capella group featuring Tom Wilson, Jeff Brown, John Zimmerman and Luke Lorenz, will stroll Talleyrand Park singing doo-wop tunes.
Also being held this year is the 9th annual Herbie’s Home “Town Loop” 4-mile run/walk and 10-mile run, an annual memorial event to honor Jeremy Herbstritt, a Bellefonte native killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Funds raised will be used to help the community build a track facility. The event will start at 8:30 a.m. August 15 at the intersection of High and Spring Streets.
All those attending the fair will enjoy free admission, free entertainment, free children’s activities, free parking and free shuttle.
“We are looking forward to a great attendance again this year to welcome our artists to our fair,” Hamilton said. “As a committee of Historic Bellefonte Inc., we strive to support the Bellefonte Borough and the downtown businesses with our fair and also support all of the other activities of HBI. We have a great committee that works exceptionally hard to put together this two day event. Without the hard work and support from the committees and community volunteers each year we would not be so successful.”