Expanded 4th Fest packed with musical acts

The State College Municipal Band performs during the Central Pennsylvania 4th Fest in 2015.
The State College Municipal Band performs during the Central Pennsylvania 4th Fest in 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

With more than 30 performances across four stages and two days, this year’s Central Pennsylvania 4th Fest is set to be the biggest yet.

Unlike previous years, the festival will kick off on July 3 and continue into Independence Day.

Executive director Karl Libhart explained that 4th Fest, in addition to celebrating Independence Day, is a chance to showcase the many talented groups and performers throughout the area.

“We have it orchestrated so that one band stops, next band starts, so there is never a downtime,” said Libhart, who will lead 4th Fest as executive director for the first time this year.

This year’s festival is unique in terms of the sheer number of performances. Musicians will be staged across four different venues as well.

“We’ve got quite a bit of variety, and this town is full of talented bands,” said Eileen Christman, entertainment chairwoman for the event. For her, this will be a new high in terms of musical acts.

All of the performances are donated by the artists, according to Christman. That’s not only part of the all-volunteer aspect of the event, but it is also a chance for local artists to perform in front of thousands.

Performances will be held in different venues according to their music style and genre. Acoustic and folk-oriented bands will perform at a venue just outside the Bryce Jordan Center, while bands performing rock and other mainstream genres will be at the Centre Stage, located at the parking lot south of Beaver Stadium and the Towne Square stage located on the western side of the stadium.

The last stage, at Nittanyville, is the only stage that will not be shared. It will stage the State College Area Municipal Band’s performance on July 4.

The festival’s musical entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. July 3 and continue until 10:45 p.m. The Centre stage and the Towne Square stage will host four and five bands, respectively. July 3 will include performances by the band Oz, the Wreckers, Ramalama and more.

On July 4, the musical performances will resume at 2 p.m., with the Backyard Rockers opening Centre stage and Cruel & Unusual opening the Bryce Jordan Center acoustic stage. Chris Ruble will open the Towne Square stage at 3 p.m.

“This is a community celebration and our community has many talented performers ... (the artists) want to play and the people want to see them,” Christman said.

Musical performances will be held until 9 p.m. July 4, when the nationally acclaimed fireworks display takes place. After the fireworks, Chris Vipond and the Stanley Street Band will play on the Centre Stage from 10:15 p.m.-midnight.

On the web

For a full schedule of 4th Fest performances, visit www.4thfest.org