ShareThis Page
Road Trip! Destination: State College area |

Road Trip! Destination: State College area

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Saturday, June 21, 2014 7:48 p.m
Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
Vendors and other activities take up a mile long space at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College,
Berkey Creamery at Penn State.
Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
A sand sculpture is a tradition at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College.
Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Penn State All-Sports Museum, located in Beaver Stadium, pays tribute to the student athletes.
State College Spikes
The A-league State College Spikes play at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

There will be a crowd of more than 100,000 descending on State College, and they won’t be there for a Penn State football game.

The 48th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is July 9 to 13. It brings 100,000 to 125,000 people to the downtown area and adjacent university campus to celebrate the arts. The event has been honored as the top outdoor fine-art and craft shows in the nation, according to Sunshine Artist magazine.

This year’s five-day event will host more than 300 juried artists and craftsmen from across the nation — more than 1,000 applied.

“It’s a completely different way to see the Penn State campus and downtown area,” says Rick Bryant, executive director of the festival. “It has an incredible feel to it with all of the great displays by such talented artists and wonderful entertainment. If you’ve never been to this festival, you should come and experience it.”

The show has everything from jewelry to clothing to other accessories, along with tons of art and lots of music. It’s always the week after the Fourth of July and encompasses one mile of space with vendor booths, food and entertainment stages.

Traditional favorite events include the giant sand sculpture, the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival, BookFestPA and a banner competition. A Children and Youth Day on July 9 will feature artists 8 to 18.

The Penn State Alumni Association welcomes former students who can reserve residence-hall accommodations in West Halls and attend special events including a behind-the-scenes tour.

Rounding out the weekend is the 39th annual Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival Races on July 13.

Most of the events are free. Some indoor venues require a button that is $10, and the race has an entry fee of $22.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 9, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 10 to 12 and noon to 5 p.m. July 13.

Details: 814-237-3682 or

Additional art

The arts and crafts possibilities extend three miles east at the 22nd annual Boalsburg People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts, which runs July 10 to 13. The festival, which features everything from homemade brooms to barbecues to jewelry, is on the grounds at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in historic Boalsburg. It’s always on the same weekend as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. There will be nearly 200 artists and more than 40 entertainment groups. The first festival in 1993 started with 50 artists.

Admission is free. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 10 to 12 and noon to 5 p.m. July 13.

Details: 814-272-1320 or

Play ball

While in the area, stop by the ball park to see the minor-league baseball team the State College Spikes. At one time a minor-league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team is now connected with the rival St. Louis Cardinals and plays in the New York-Penn League, a short-season A-league. The Spikes play at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in University Park. Opponents include the Mets affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones whom the Spikes host July 9 to 11 and the Yankees affiliate Staten Island Yankees July 12 and 13. Tickets are $6 to $18.

Details: 814-272-1711 or

I scream for ice cream

July and ice cream are a perfect summer combination, so when you take a break from perusing art, grab a scoop of bittersweet mint, golden chocolate pecan, cherry cheesecake or peppermint stick at the Berkey Creamery at Penn State.

The creamery was named for a generous donation by Jeanne and Earl Berkey. The couple owned the Berkey Milk Co. in Somerset until 1968 and continued in the retail ice-cream business until 1977. The new creamery, which opened in August 2006 and occupies the first floor of the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, is two-and-a-half times the size of the old one at 3,700 square feet.

Inside, employees create about 100 ice-cream flavors, 10 frozen-yogurt choices and six sherbet selections. Vanilla is the most popular ice-cream flavor.

Hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Details: 814-865-7535 or

Game time

At the Penn State All-Sports Museum, you’ll encounter the athletic history and heritage of the university. The museum is an interactive, two-level, 10,000-square-foot testament to the success and tradition of Penn State student-athletes — on the field and in the classroom.

There are dramatic floor-to-ceiling visuals, rare archival images, and athletic equipment any aficionado would appreciate. There are trophies, including the Heisman Trophy won by John Cappelletti in 1973. There are exhibits on 29 of the 31 current varsity sports and three that have been discontinued. The addition of men’s and women’s ice hockey will be in the near future. The all-sports museum offers guided tours.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Suggested donation is $5, $3 for children, senior citizens and students.

Details: 814-865-0044 or


Round out your stay with a trip down under. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall, the only cave in Pennsylvania on the National Register of Historic Places, features glittering stalactites and stalagmites, often mysteriously in familiar shapes, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Garden of the Gods. See how dripping water has sculpted magnificent flowstone, curtains, cascades and draperies against a background of pillars and gigantic columns.

The guided interpretive tour by flat-bottom motorboat winds through cavern passageways and, when weather permits, includes a ride on Lake Nitanee. There are 48 steps leading to the cave’s main entrance, which is not handicapped accessible.

Bring a sweater or jacket because the cave’s temperature is 52 degrees. Tickets are $17.50, $16.50 for age 65 and up, $9.25 for ages 2 to 12, free for under 2. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 to Aug. 31.

Details: 814-364-1664 or

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review fashion writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, or via Twitter .

Categories: Travel
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.