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Wide variety of entertainment coming to Arts Fest, People's Choice Festival

Pure Cane Sugar performs at the 2011 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
Pure Cane Sugar performs at the 2011 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Centre Daily Times, file

From an Elvis impersonator to belly dancing, the days ahead will be filled with entertainment in Centre County. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and People's Choice Festival will dominate the weekend with a variety of activities for people of all ages.

Chris Kepler, the People's Choice Festival’s entertainment director, said more than 40 acts will perform throughout the four-day weekend in Boalsburg.

Elvis Impersonator Brad Crum will be the main headliner for People's Choice, according to Kepler.

Arts Fest in State College has more than 80 acts, including an acrobatic dance group called Three Names and pop music mash-up band My Hero Zero.

Both festivals take pride supporting local entertainers from Pennsylvania. Entertainers can range from a variety of ages.

Performers such as State College Rock Camp and Teen Town are some of the younger performers, as the oldest member of Teen Town is only 16 years old, according to Kepler.

“They’re our future,” Kepler said. “They’re what is performing now, and they’re what performers now are going to be later watching. It’s good to support them.”

Kepler said the band Pure Cane Sugar will play on Thursday night, where Kepler said they are “always a real big hit.” Two nights later, they'll take the stage again, this time in State College for Arts Fest.

Kate Twoey, a singer and guitarist for Pure Cane Sugar, said the band loves performing at both festivals.

“I get a rush every time we are performing our original tunes and I see the crowd singing along to lyrics that we have written,” she said.

Performing with her band is special to Twoey, as she said it’s her family.

“So, a few times a week I get to hang out with some of my favorite people on this planet, sing and dance my guts out, and hopefully get our audience lost in our music with us,” Twoey.

There are new additions to the People's Choice lineup. Eric Ian Farmer and Addie Martinez and Friends will be on the North Stage before Harpo at 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Friday's headline act is Velveeta, a band that also does double duty at the two area festivals.

2018 will mark the group's 14th year playing at Arts Fest and their fourth year playing at People’s Choice.

“It’s a neat opportunity for us to play for alumni that may have not seen us for a while or for people who might not go to the bars where we see us and it’s kid friendly,” manager and keyboard player Brent Martin said. “We’re very fortunate that we can play both so we do both."

What stands out playing at both festivals is the ability for families to come out and watch them perform.

Martin said one of his favorite songs to perform is “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

Martin said they entertain through music and want everyone to have a good time.

“It’s a nice family friendly place, it's an open area, we’ve got really good food there,” Kepler said.

In the future, Twoey does not believe the band has any intentions on not attending the festivals.

“There is magic in the air at these festivals,” Twoey said. “There is excitement, and charm, and pride, and energy; there are colors and aromas, and joyous sounds.”