BRAD

Has it really been two months since we graduated? So much has happened since we last left State College.

We have returned home, explored our local area, and begun to save money for our travels. Leslie has picked up freelance graphic design opportunities and I have worked my old job and got a new one. Hell I have even made $275 selling stuff from around the house (with my mom’s permission of course).

But it was time for us to return to our other home…State College. This past week was the 48th annual Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival, an event that draws over 100,000 people to State College each July. It is a time for alumni, both recent and from years past, to return to the place they used to call home.

Lucky (I am using “lucky” loosely here) for us we are still paying for our apartment, which meant we would have a place to sleep during Arts Fest. While it is hard to come to grips with, this was our last Arts Fest as residents of State College.

WHAT IS THE CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA ARTS FESTIVAL?

If you feel so inclined, you can read all about Arts Fest here. However, to save you time I will give you the short version.

Arts Fest is a five-day gathering of artists to share their craft, which include photographers, sculptors, musicians, and much more. The ultimate goal of Arts Fest is to bring about personal interaction between the artists and festival goers, in order to enrich and educate them.

The non-profit event is overseen by a volunteer board of directors and run by nearly 500 volunteers. This year 300 artists were invited to take part in the sidewalk art sale and many live performances took place throughout the event.

Artist Tents lining the streets at the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival

Artist’s tents wind through Penn State’s campus and downtown State College

FRIENDS + FESTIVAL = FUN

LESLIE

As Brad mentioned, each year Arts Fest provides alumni the opportunity to see friends from their college days, especially for recent graduates like ourselves! With the busy schedules we kept over our final semester, we knew we needed to make it to Arts Fest to reconnect with our college friends one last time.

Knowing we would have to leave early on Saturday for New York City we arrived on Tuesday, the night before the festival officially began. This gave us time to meet up with friends who are spending the summer in State College, before the town flooded with people.

Come Friday, the town was so packed that it almost felt like a normal (school year) weekend! Friends who already started the 9-5 work life made their way up Friday evening and we got to hang out with them before leaving the following morning.

David Montgomery Dioramas at the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival

David Montgomery creates one of a kind dioramas

Soda Can Planes at the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival

This artist creates objects, like this plane, out of aluminum cans

Bob McNally’s Strumsticks at the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival

Bob McNally builds musical instruments, including these “Strumsticks

William Colburn’s sculptures at the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival

William Colburn makes garden and outdoor sculptures

During the day we wandered the festival, hiked nearby trails, and relaxed in our new hammocks at Lederer Park. At night we met up with friends and partied to our hearts content! But most importantly, we enjoyed our “final” Arts Fest up until the moment we had to leave for New York City on Saturday morning.

Have you been to State College for Arts Fest? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment section below!