The People’s Choice Festival typically attracts 110,000 people over four days each July. Photo from StateCollege.com File | Geoff Rushton
In 1993, George and Nancy Marion assembled a group of volunteers to organize a new festival that offered residents and visitors another option along with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, a festival that provided a relaxed, local artists. and sellers.
From an initial event with around 50 vendors and a few bands, the People’s Choice Festival has grown into a destination in its own right, welcoming over 100,000 attendees and helping to create one big multi-festival week in Center County each month. of July.
That evolution continues this year as People’s Choice moves from its longtime home on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg to Grange Park in Center Hall. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, festival organizers announced the move in December when the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which oversees the state-owned museum, offered only a one-year contract with which did not include the possibility of hosting the event there beyond 2022 .
A PHMC spokesperson said at the time that a number of factors contributed to the decision, the most significant being that the festival had exceeded the museum’s capacity to accommodate it.
“Given the substantial increase in rental costs, as well as the lack of options to host the festival beyond 2022 on the grounds of the Military Museum, the committee researched and found the best solution for the festival go ahead,” said People’s Choice committee member and public relations director Steve Biddle writing in the festival’s official guide, which can be found in the July 7–13 edition of the Center County Gazette.
People’s Choice will continue to have everything visitors expect, with a few new features. It will include 200 artisans, more than two dozen food vendors, 14 specialty food vendors, children’s activities and more than three dozen bands performing on two stages.
Admission is free and parking is $6. The festival will also offer a Thursday-Saturday shuttle with transfers to and from Mount Nittany Middle School, Ollie’s on South Atherton Street and Weis Markets on Martin Street. Round trip fare is $5. See the schedule here.
Known for its camp during the Grange Fair in August, Grange Park also offers festival-goers the opportunity to camp on site.
The festival will offer plenty for young people, including face painting, glitter tattoos and the chance to make tie-dye t-shirts.
A hands-on science museum will offer experiments, while families will also find animals, games, kid-friendly music and more. And of course there will be, as usual, a giant inflatable house.
Some activities require a small supplement.
A tent for young artisans will also allow young artists to exhibit and sell their creations.
More than 200 artists and artisans will display and sell their work during People’s Choice, including pottery, hand-woven baskets, children’s clothing, tie-dye wool crafts, glass, handmade jewelry handmade, metal sculpture, broom making, kitchen utensils, animal art, handmade soap, candles, animal portraits and caricatures.
View the full list of vendors by category at peopleschoicefestival.com/art.
People’s Choice has become known for its wide selection of food, ranging from traditional festival fare to specialty vendors. Local and regional wineries will also be offering bottle sales (for off-site consumption), including
|Sherri’s Crab Cakes||camp hill|
|Out of the shell||Garrett|
|Carper Concessions Inc.||Huntingdon|
|Cowboy Kettle Corn||Meadville|
|Idou Coffee Company||Boalsburg|
|Miller’s Tropoical Sno LLC||Bellefonte|
|Barbecue by Clem||Bellefonte|
|Packers Concessions LLC||central room|
|B&B Fresh Fruit Cup||lewistown|
|Scott’s Roasting LLC||Bellefonte|
|Scott’s Roasting Sausage||Bellefonte|
|Sherlock’s Pitt Beef||Abbotttown|
|Addison Snyder Concessions, Inc.||Bellefonte|
|Emogene Snyder Concessions||Bellefonte|
|Jerry R. Snyder Concessions, Inc.||Howard|
|Kendra Snyder Dealerships, LLC||Bellefonte|
|Preston Snyder Concession||Bellefonte|
|Dealerships Rick Snyder, Inc.||Bellefonte|
Vendors of food specialties:
|1||The piper’s mouthpiece||Bellefonte|
|3||Mister G Coffee Company||Reedsville|
|4||Pottery & Country 4 You||New Cumberland|
|5||Moonshine Chocolate Bars, LLC||slippery rock|
|6||Keystone Cultures Company||Milheim|
|seven||Upside Down Cookie Co||Bellefonte|
|8||Hillbilly’s Jerky||Fort Loudon|
|B||Village Eatinghouse Craft Sauces||State University|
|E||Pet Bakery Me and My Dog||jamisson|
|F||Ruga Jerky Street||Altoona|
|AA||Nomad Distilling Co.||Williamsport|
|BB||Hawstone Hollow Cellar||lewistown|
|CC||Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery||State University|
|not a word||Juniata Valley Winery Inc.||Mifflin|
|EE||Mount Nittany Vineyard and Wine Estate||central room|
|FF||Caves of the Seven Mountains||spring mills|
|GG||Hungry Run Wine Cellars, LLC||lewistown|
|HH||University wine company||State University|
|II||KingView Mead, wine, cider||Pittsburgh|
Dozens of bands will provide a steady stream of entertainment throughout the festival with something for everyone including rock, jazz, country, bluegrass, barber, big band, blues and more, as well as tribute acts to Talking Heads and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Here are the complete schedules of the stages:
Thursday July 14
|7/14||NORTH||1:30 p.m.||Anchor and Arrow|
|7/14||NORTH||3 p.m.||Donny Burns and the 3rd Degree|
|7/14||NORTH||4:30 p.m.||Miss Melanie|
|7/14||NORTH||6 p.m.||Pure cane sugar|
|7/14||SOUTH||3 p.m.||Dave Wilson Quartet|
|7/14||SOUTH||4:30 p.m.||Marshmallow Overcoat|
|7/14||SOUTH||6 p.m.||black cat belly dance|
friday july 15
|7/15||NORTH||Midday||State University Rock Camp|
|7/15||NORTH||1:30 p.m.||JR Mangan Band|
|7/15||NORTH||3 p.m.||Tussey Mountain Moonshiners|
|7/15||NORTH||5:30 p.m.||The Little Roy and Lizzy Show|
|7/15||SOUTH||Midday||Sink or swing|
|7/15||SOUTH||1:30 p.m.||Above the radar|
|7/15||SOUTH||3 p.m.||The Jay T. Vonada Quartet|
|7/15||SOUTH||4:30 p.m.||Nittany Knights|
Saturday July 16
|7/16||NORTH||Midday||“Joy Marie and the Gill Street Band”|
|7/16||NORTH||1:30 p.m.||Raven and the Wren|
|7/16||NORTH||3 p.m.||The roof|
|7/16||NORTH||5:30 p.m.||Start making sense – a tribute to the Talking Heads|
|7/16||SOUTH||1:30 p.m.||loose cannons|
|7/16||SOUTH||4:30 p.m.||Ray Owen|
Sunday July 17
|7/17||NORTH||10:30 a.m.||St. Johns United Church of Christ|
|7/17||NORTH||Midday||Brad Crum as Elvis|
|7/17||NORTH||1:30 p.m.||Joe Bonson & Coffee Run|
|7/17||NORTH||3 p.m.||To restart|
|7/17||SOUTH||10:30 a.m.||National Healing Evangelist: with Gerry Grant|
|7/17||SOUTH||1:30 p.m.||group therapy|
|7/17||SOUTH||3 p.m.||TIGHTROPE – Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Band|