The rise of big corporations taking over shopping malls is getting scarier by the minute. More and more small businesses are already struggling because of the big competitors—the big guys can sweep them all out of the picture without batting an eyelash.

Thank heavens for efforts given by groups who think that crafts made by independent manufacturers deserve attention and support. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is one of those events that make sure independent producers are still recognized for the amazing products they deliver.

Considered as one of the best in the country, the festival will offer different activities featuring exhibition and sale of arts and crafts from July 14 to 17, 2011 in State College Pennsylvania. Aiming to promote high-quality visual and performing arts, this festival is one of those celebrations that provide an interaction between the artists and their audience.

There will be many performances on different stages in the huge venue, all of them certainly have something special in store. Some of the performers are: bluegrass band The Allegheny Ridgerunners (July 14), Bushmaster (July 15), country band The Chicken Tractor (July 15), Bellefonte Community Band (July 17), Essence of Joy Alumni Singers (July 15). You will also get to witness amazing comedy juggling performances by The Gizmo Guys (July 13), impressive moves by the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre (July 14), Bubble Boy the Musical by the Penn State NU Musical Theatre (July 14), and fun fitness activities that will give you the best time while burning calories by Zumba fitness (July 14).

Products of the following will be featured in the festival: Basketry, Ceramic, Drawing, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metal, Mixed Media in 2D and 3D, musical instruments, paintings, paper, photographs, prints, sculpture, watercolor, and wood.

Also one of the much-anticipated activities is the 45th Annual Banner Exhibition and Competition, which will feature different banners (more than 100 of them) that display diverse designs made by dedicated artists. Both kids and the young at heart will enjoy this, because the designs are absolutely stunning.

There will also be a book festival—the BookFest PA, now on its second year, will feature talks by authors as well as book signings and meet-and-greet with fans. Some of the featured authors this year are Paul Yeager (Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities), Cyn Balog (Fairy Tale), Josh Berk (The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin), and Lindsay Eland (Scones and Sensibility).

While at State College, Pennsylvania, festival-goers can enjoy the surroundings of the Lubrano Park, or watch football games at the Beaver Stadium. If you’d like to engage in more adventurous activities, you can go hiking at Mount Nittany or the ridge of Tussey Mountain for skiing or snowboarding.

You certainly will not run out of things to do in this festival, and you will also get to support local products by people who are dedicated to their craft. Here, there are no big names and extravagant set-up—only an event offering simple and pure fun that cannot be paralleled by any kind of multi-million corporations.

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