Posted by Ryan Chase on 07/09 at 10:44 AM
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is an annual event, celebrating the art through music, dance, and paintings to name a few. Every July, the Arts Festival draws approximately 125,000 people. Everyone from alumni to curious tourists suffocate the streets and exhibit questionable taste in footwear.
Booths line each side of South Allen Street for five consecutive blocks showcasing local artwork - and fried food. Water falls from buckets hanging high above, drenching excited children in their bathing suits. Slender tattooed women with pasty white skin tap dance on a small wooden stage. It is the high mark of the summer season.
Spanning five days, the Arts Festival technically starts off July 7 for Children and Youth day which features more kid-focused entertainment and activities. Then things turn towards the adults for the remaining four days. At this point everything from Italian street painting to sand sculpture to silent auctions can be wondrously witnessed.
For further information, either pick-up a copy of the Arts Festival pamphlet downtown (which is available for free) or swim over to the official Arts Festival Web Site: http://arts-festival.com/.
Fifty-five bands perform during the Arts Festival. I have rundown a few below to give you a taste of some of the musicians and their musical styles.
*Friday, July 9th, 7:30PM, Schwab Auditorium
Storied local folk-bluegrass band returns this year not merely as performers, but as headliners for the first time. Bound by strong harmonies and even stronger songwriting, it is no surprise that Cartoon (once known as Menagerie) has endured thirty years on the music circuit. It’s a career that has included a loyal following and four albums, with a fifth coming down the pike.
Friday, July 9th, 9:00PM, Festival Shell Stage
Part-country, part-rock, Slimfit balances it perfectly for music fans who claim loyalty to either one. They have the hard, driving edge of a rock band that infects listeners with a serious case of head bopping and foot tapping, while matching it with the easy, slow-trotting touch of country music. Worth a listen.
Saturday, July 10th, 2:00PM , S. Allen Stage
Ruby & the Hummingbirds
Saturday, July 10th, 5:30PM, Festival Shell Stage
Blues band, borrowing the name of a small (could be big, for all know–but small just sounds better) Mississippi town, inspired by the greatness of late Blues heroes like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Friar’s Point scuffles into the Arts Fest sort of fresh off the release of their debut album, To the Point.
Saturday, July 10th, 6:00PM, S. Allen Stage
Folk sprinkled with a dash of satire. Riding a wave of critical success since the release of her debut CD, The Shuffleboard Queens, Deirdre Flint has landed gigs in a variety of popular venues, like World Café and the Kennedy Center, making her one of the favorite and most anticipated musical acts performing at this year’s festival.
*Saturday, July 10th, 7:30PM, State College Presbyterian Church
Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo
Individually, James Fera and John Marcinizyn. Collectively, the Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo (neither a good name for a band or super hero team) is an extolled collaboration that has trudged along now for over fifteen years, venturing into such obscure establishments as the Smithsonian Institute. Mixing popular musical styles like folk, jazz, and blues, the Ferla-Marcinizyn woos audiences with their sophistication and seemingly unparalleled mastery on the acoustic guitar.
Sunday, July 11th, 12:30PM, S. Allen Stage
Summit City Saints
Tailgate staples and snappy dressers to boot, Summit City Saints rekindle the flair and flash of American Dixieland music. Unnoticed by the common music listener, Summit City Saints is the golden treasure of the Arts Festival. Experience the Summit City Saints and remind yourself what good music sounds like.
*You need a Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts button to attend these performances
Author: Ryan Chase
Bio: Ryan Chase is a senior at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in English and Sociology. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, woodcarving, and playing the guitar. Outside of most rap and opera, he listens to every type of music, but he prefers classic rock and jazz. His favorite artists are Robert Johnson, Heatmiser, and Minor Davis & the Fuzzy Slippers.
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