Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts sidewalk sale and expo ranks No. 1 in artist magazine

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is No. 1 on the list of of 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows in America, as rated by Sunshine Artist magazine.

The magazine’s poll, which has been in existence for 21 years, is based on exhibitor sales.

It’s the first time the local sidewalk sale hit No. 1, although Arts Fest has been a steady top 5 since 2009, Rick Byrant, the executive director of the annual July festival, said in a news release.

Last year, Bryant said, the local festival was ranked No. 2.

Arts Fest beat out events in Chicago; La Quinta, Calif.; Belleville, Ill.; and Denver, Colo.

“We’re thrilled to learn that we ranked atop a list of some of the best festivals in the country, particularly when our exhibiting artists have nominated us,” said Katherine Allen, the president of the board of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. “We appreciate this recognition and thank our hard-working volunteers and staff who make the festival the premier event it is.

“We especially need to thank our loyal audience that makes this ranking possible.”

Arts Fest was held July 11-14 throughout downtown and on the Penn State campus.

“We’re a great weekend destination for both browsers and collectors,” Bryant said. “Visitors have learned what locals have known for years: that the festival is a great place to shop, to hear wonderful music, and see friends, and to have an all-around great time.”

Arts Fest began in 1967 and now boasts more than 100,000 visitors each year.