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Every July, thousands upon thousands of visitors make their way to State College to experience the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Arts Fest as it’s commonly known, brings crowds that can exceed a Penn State football weekend.

Yet, it’s just one of many festivals that happen throughout the summer here in Happy Valley. The State College summer calendar is packed with fun community events that are enjoyable for the whole family.

Here are several that are well worth the visit to the State College area.

Summer’s Best Music Fest –June 22

Summer’s Best Music Fest is a daylong music festival that showcases the best in the State College music scene. Stages are set up throughout downtown and there is a street bazaar on Allen Street with discount deals from many of the stores that reside on the block. And of course, food and beverages are made available from select restaurants.

Music lovers will enjoy this day. From blues to rock to country, there’s guaranteed to be something that will cater to your musical interests at Summer’s Best Music Fest.

Central PA 4thFest - July 4

State College is proudly home to one of the top Fourth of July fireworks shows in the country. International fireworks website Fireworks Guide, has rated the show as the 3rd best in the U.S. But while the fireworks serve as the grand finale, the rest of the day is jam-packed with things to do.

Central Pa 4th Fest is a daylong patriotic festival full of family activities. Throughout the day, there’s a large carnival right next to Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center. There’s also live music from local bands set up on a large stage in a grassy field where patrons can sit and relax.

Another aspect of the festival is the Firecracker 4k, a run that starts bright and early at 9 a.m. The course has yet to be announced for this year’s edition, but last year it looked like this.

For the second year in a row, the festival will feature the “America’s Got Heroes” parade. The parade begins at the State College Municipal Building, travels throughout downtown and the Penn State campus and finishes at the Penn State Law Building. It serves as a public tribute to all the men and women who are designated as heroes by their peers in the community.

2013 Summer Jazz Celebration  July 26-27

Bring your folding chairs along with some food and drinks to Tallyrand Park in Bellefonte. Then once you’re set up, sit back and relax to the smooth sounds of jazz. The festival began as the State College Jazz Festival in 2006. However, as popularity increased, the event became more multi-faceted and grew to a two-day festival.

Headlining the 2013 performances will be Sheila Jordan, one of the premier singers in jazz. There will also be local and regional artists playing anything from Bop to Blues.

Get more information about the jazz festival here.

Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair  August 22-29

In August, the attention shifts to the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall. For one week, the fairgrounds are transformed into a miniature city as campers come and take up residence on the grounds. In fact, the grounds usually hold around 950 tents, and 1300 RVs. 

Visitors to the Grange Fair will be overwhelmed with the amount of carnival rides, food, and entertainment. For animal lovers, there will also be a livestock exhibit.

You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the Grange Fair. Single-day tickets cost $6 and general admission tickets for the entire week are $15. Get more information here.

Summers in Happy Valley are a blast and have something for everyone. Start planning your trip and experience some of these wonderful events!

Visit Lion Country Lodging- Website to make a reservation

Carnegie Inn & Spa - (814) 234-2424

100 Cricklewood Drive State College, PA 16803

Days Inn Penn State - (814) 238-8454

240 S. Pugh Street State College, PA 16801

Hilton Garden Inn - (814)-272-1221

1221 East College Avenue State College, PA 16801

Nittany Budget Motel - (814) 238-0015

2070 Cato Avenue State College, PA 16801

Quality Inn State College - (814) 234-1600

1274 North Atherton Street State College, PA 16803

Super 8 - (814) 237-8005

1663 S. Atherton St State College, PA 16801