Campus & Community
Signature Local Events
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (Arts Fest) brings over 125,000 people to downtown State College and the University Park campus of Penn State to celebrate the arts with its nationally recognized Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, gallery exhibition, sand sculpture and music, dance and theatrical performances in a variety of traditional and non-traditional venues. Arts Fest is an annual event traditionally held on the second weekend of July.
People's Choice Festival
Hosted in Boalsburg, PA, just outside of State College, the People's Choice Festival is one of the largest and most family-friendly arts festivals in central Pennsylvania – attracting more than 110,000 visitors over a four-day period. The People's Choice Festival is also held the second weekend of July.
Every Thursday from mid July until the end of August the area's best restaurants bring their favorite wing sauces to compete for your vote. The winner of each week's competition moves on to the Finals. All held mountainside at the Tussey Mountain Amphitheater, with live, local music, a setting sun and views of Happy Valley that are easy to enjoy. This is a fried chicken wing lover's dream.
Summer's Best Music Fest
Come downtown and support local musicians and snag some deals at the annual Downtown Street Bazaar! Enjoy a day full of local music, exciting attractions such as a pet parade, and much more. Summer’s Best Music Fest and the Downtown Street Bazaar takes place towards the end of June in Downtown State College, on Allen Street and along Calder Way.
As one of the largest student-run music festivals in the country, and a Penn State tradition, Movin' On brings the top music of today, tomorrow, and yesterday together as a celebration of those graduating Nittany Lions "movin' on" in their academic and professional lives. It is a FREE TO EVERYONE, day-long, open air music festival.
The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign for the fight against pediatric cancer. THON engages more than 15,000 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in hopes of finding a cure. The year culminates with a 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon known as THON Weekend. This event is held at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center each year in February.
Student Union and Activities
Students from throughout the world can find food, student organizations and a center of entertainment, all at the HUB. Student Union and Activities is located in the Hutzel Union Building (HUB) and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC). This is the HUB of arts and entertainment and student involvement. If you are not sure where to find a group of people with whom to express your interest begin in 209 HUB in the Student Union and Activities Office. Search for student organizations from Tapestry, Penn State's only tap dance company to Penn State Anime Organization, you can find it on the Student Organization Directory.
Student Programming Association (SPA)
SPA is a student-run club dedicated to bringing amazing performers, entertainers, artists, movies of all sorts to campus. Peak your intellectual curiosity with NPR Distinguished Speaker Series or tap into your creative side with things like creative craft sessions during Late Night at the HUB. Check the SPA website regularly for updates about upcoming events. Ask how you can become a member of SPA.
Center for Arts & Crafts
The Center for Arts and Crafts offers a variety of non-credit art classes throughout the school year and summer. From drawing, painting, staining class, wheel-throwing pottery techniques. There is even a course on Art with a Mathematical Twist. If you have skills, inquire how you may even become an instructor yourself.
Theatre and Performances
Penn State and State College embrace the theatrical arts. Penn State is home to several theatre groups, student organizations
- Center for Performing Arts (CPA)- A nationally recognized commissioner of artistic works, the CPA host world-reknown music, theatre, dance artist; traditional and non-traditional.
- Penn State Thespians and No Refund Theatre- Student organizations
- State Theatre- An eccletic little theatre also in the heart of downtown State College that has something for everyone. It is the hub of local culture featuring local and nationally renowned artist. State Theatre also brings artistic film festival quality movies to State College and replays some oldies but goodies.
Movie buffs can go to the movies hosted by SPA during Late Nite at the HUB for free with a student idea or venture out to the local movie theatres in State College showing the current blockbuster movies. Students receive discounts with a student I.D.
- College 9 is located off of North Atherton Street
- Premier 12 is off of Shiloh Road near the Nittany Mall.
Bryce Jordan Center (BJC)
The Bryce Jordan Center is a 16,000 seat arena that hosts circuses, sports events, family shows, commencement, top-name performers in the music industry and of course, Big Ten Basketball. Visit the BJC for a list of upcoming events and ticket information.
For additional events and entertainment, visit the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.