Your Guide To Arts Fest 2009

Old Arts FestArts Fest has been rockin’ Happy Valley since 1967 when the first Arts Fest stretched for nine whole days. The original Arts Fest featured sidewalk artisans, live music performances as well as kittens (for sale). Opened by then-Governor Raymond Shafer and hosted by the College of Arts and Architecture and the State College Chamber of Commerce, the Festival has proved to be an annual treat for those who make the trek to Happy Valley.

Arts Fest 2009 begins on Thursday, July 9th and ends on Sunday, July 12th. The schedule is about as diverse as Penn State’s student population- there is something there for everyone. From art to dancing, music to sand sculptures, Arts Fest is your one stop shop for everything artsy-fartsy.

Live Performances

Here are links to the schedules of live performances during the day:

Thursday, July 9th
Friday, July 10th
Saturday, July 11th
Sunday July 12th

My personal favorite is the group called the Earthtones. They play on Old Main Lawn on Sunday at 3:30. The group plays a cool funky reggae and never fails to compel people to get up and dance.

Street Festival

Sidewalk Exhibition

The hours for the sidewalk art exhibition are

10 AM – 8 PM July 9-11 (Thursday-Saturday)
12 PM- 5PM July 12 (Sunday)

You can find a listing of all of the sidewalk artisans and their artistic mediums here. Additionally, you can find a listing and showcase of last year’s exhibition winners here.

A panel of five jurors examines each vendor’s wares in order to determine the best of the best. Then, over $17,000 of prize money is awarded. This year’s awards ceremony will be held on the Allen Street Stage at 9 AM on Saturday, July 11.

Artist’s Showcase

Demonstrations by talented artists on exactly how they get their work to look so good will be taking place throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. Click on over to this website for more information. Each demonstration lasts around one hour.

Sand Sculptures

From a pile of sand of over 25 tons, master sand-sculptor Brad Goll will be sure to dazzle you with his incredible sand art. I don’t know about you, but I always find that even my best sandcastles pale in comparison to Mr. Goll’s work. Simple amazing. Find out more information on his work and the exhibit here.

Button Performances

Arts Fest ButtonSome events during Arts Fest weekend are only accessible if you have purchased an $8 button. Purchasing a button helps keep Arts Fest alive by providing much needed funds to the group that organizes the event every year. For information on where to purchase these buttons and what performances the button allows you to experience, point your web browser here. For a picture of the button, points your eyes to the right of this block of text.

Other Things You Should Know

Check out the official Arts Fest website for a dearth of information about the festival. It is truly staggering how fantastic this event is year after year. A average attendance of over 125,000 people in recent years clearly reflects the success of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

And if for some reason you can’t make it up to Happy Valley for the festival, you can check out a live webcam here that shows a live view of the event.


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About the Author

Steve S.

Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.


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