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Greetings, readers. This Friday’s blog entry begins by talking a little bit more about the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. It has been going on as long as I can remember and attracts hundreds of thousands of people a year. For local businesses in the downtown area it is an economic boost. A store owner once told me that he relies on Arts Festival week and the home football games of Penn State to keep his business going until the holiday shopping season.

I’ve walked down Allen Street only a couple of times so far this year but have seen many, many people enjoying the music, the good food, and the sidewalk sales. My favorite thing to do, which helps on a hot day like this, is to walk through a man-made area with ferns and shrubbery while a gentle cool mist comes down from a hose over top. It is so refreshing. The little children enjoy the water-dumping machine. Buckets fill with water, get too heavy, and tip over on the waiting children. Gleeful screams and laughter can be heard all day long from this area. I remember about five years ago when State College was having a rather nasty heat wave, I emptied my pockets and walked under the water buckets clothes and all; it felt so good.

For serious Arts Festival folks, the sales booths go up the Penn State campus, almost to Pattee Library, and wander around to some of the side streets of campus and downtown. At specific venues there are live music events as well. It can be a daunting day out if it is hot and humid; but people shouldn’t worry, because there are always bottled water and lemonade stands. Artists create wood sculptures, they make leather goods, and many people either paint or sketch. People come from near and far for the variety of artists. The festival is so big each year and there are only so many slots to fill. Many artists come back as many years as they can.

There’s also a festival called the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts out in Boalsburg PA, not far from here. It was started several years ago by local artists who couldn’t get a spot at the one downtown. They run simultaneously and as far as I know both are attended well. I’ve personally not been to the one in Boalsburg because it is hard for me to get out there and the one here in town in almost at my front door.

As for Rebecca and I, next week will be a regular work week, complete with two blog entries. We are giving much thought to the upcoming 300th blog post. Both of us want to make it something special.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

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