Heritage Day festival celebrates Philipsburg’s finest

EvaMarie Swartout sings during Philipsburg Heritage Days in 2015.
EvaMarie Swartout sings during Philipsburg Heritage Days in 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Every year during the second week of July, a festival takes to the streets of Centre County.

No, not that festival. Think a little farther west.

The annual Heritage Days celebration in Philipsburg is the Moshannon Valley’s moment in the summer festival season sun, and the party starts Tuesday.

While the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts focuses on sculpture and painting, Heritage Days has a different object. It’s all about small-town pride.

The festival has a new theme each year. For 2016, the event is celebrating local production with “Made in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania.”

Most activities are focused on the downtown area where Front Street is closed for tents and booths to take up residence and to welcome strolling pedestrians to have a few days of fun.

At the Presqueisle Street end, the Edward Navasky Stage will be the home of a rotating stream of bands and performers like the Accafellow barbershop quartet or classic rock band Thrive.

Other activities will stretch the length of the street, like the Cen-Clear Child Services-sponsored children’s activities daily and Shaw and Ghaner dance recital Wednesday in front of the Philipsburg Towers.

But not everything is confined to those few blocks.

Trinity Methodist Church will be the site of another children’s activity, The Great Bug-Tacular Game Show, on Wednesday. It will also host the annual Valley Voices community choir performance Thursday.

Memorial Stadium will be the scene of the perennial Cow Chip Bingo event. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like it is.

One of the biggest events takes place all over town on Saturday. The Grand Parade steps off at 2 p.m., winding from street to street, from the north end of town down Presqueisle to Second Street.

And just when you think it’s all over, when most of the booths have disappeared, something else takes over Front Street, as Heritage Days closes out with a car show Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce