Arts Fest, 4th Fest, People's Choice And Other Centre County Arts Events Canceled

Apr 17, 2020

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which has brought huge crowds to State College every summer for over half a century, is one of several Centre County events cancelled for 2020.
Credit Emily Reddy / WPSU

For the first time in its 54-year history, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College won’t take place this year.

“This is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my years in the workforce,” said Rick Bryant, executive director of the festival, which was slated to take place July 7-11. “We are trying to keep the health and safety of our artists, performers and audience members foremost in mind. We don’t want State College and the Centre region to become known as the petri dish.”

The People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, Central PA 4th Fest in State College, and Heritage Days in Philipsburg are also canceled. All of the cancellations are due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.  The event leaders made the announcement together in a Zoom call with press Friday morning, hosted by the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

They said they made the cancellation decision together, as a group, to avoid sending any mixed messages about safety. 

Many of the event coordinators are considering holding some type of virtual event this year.  And all are looking forward to the summer of 2021.

“These events will be back,” said Fritz Smith, president of the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau. “We’re coming back stronger, and this gives us more time to plan for bigger and better events for next year.”