People’s Choice Festival moves to new location for four days of art, food and music

The People’s Choice Festival typically attracts 110,000 people over four days each July. Photo from 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 spokesman 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.

Children’s activities

The festival will have plenty to offer youngsters, including face painting, glitter tattoos and a 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


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

Food vendors:

Sherri’s Crab Cakes camp hill
Out of the shell Garrett
Carper Concessions Inc. Huntingdon
Hazelnut Bavarian Bellefonte
Cogan Claims Howard
Rosie’s pierogis Bellefonte
Cowboy Kettle Corn Meadville
Idou Coffee Company Boalsburg
Lauver Concessions mifflintown
Brody’s BBQ Punxsutawney
Miller’s Tropoical Sno LLC Bellefonte
Snyder’s concessions Bellefonte
Barbecue by Clem Bellefonte
Packers Concessions LLC central room
B&B Fresh Fruit Cup lewistown
Bob’s Concessions Wood
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
Unicorn Concessions Bloomsburg

Vendors of food specialties:

1 The piper’s beak 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
A Mustache Cookies Stroudsburg
B Village Eatinghouse Craft Sauces State University
VS Dennis Farms Cooperstown
D Torch sauce mecanicsburg
E Pet Bakery Me and My Dog jamisson
F Ruga Jerky Street Altoona
g JD Gourmet Tannerville

Wine sellers:

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 hall
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

North Stage

7/14 NORTH Midday Somnambulist
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

South Stage

7/14 SOUTH Midday Caryn Dixon
7/14 SOUTH 1:30 p.m. SoundCar
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

North Stage

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

South Stage

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

North Stage

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

South Stage

7/16 SOUTH Midday Opposite side
7/16 SOUTH 1:30 p.m. loose cannons
7/16 SOUTH 15:00 Jack Frackwater
7/16 SOUTH 4:30 p.m. Ray Owen

Sunday July 17

North Stage

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

South Stage

7/17 SOUTH 10:30 a.m. National Healing Evangelist: with Gerry Grant
7/17 SOUTH Midday Lightnin’ haystack
7/17 SOUTH 1:30 p.m. group therapy
7/17 SOUTH 3 p.m. TIGHTROPE – Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Band

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