Last Wednesday, Downtown State College was invaded by hoards of kids! They set up tables full of arts, crafts and games along Allen Street and started selling at the Arts Festival Children’s Day. As a kid, I spent hours walking down the three block stretch of crafts, buying cool toys from my peers. I still think Children’s Day is the most fun day of the festival.
This year, according to local kids’ day tradition, there were kids selling headbands with beautiful princess streamers, a few pop guns, and the requisite grass head dolls. It seems that someone in every generation reinvents these Art’s Fest staples.
I bought three exciting pieces of artwork! I couldn’t resist the little girl who had written “Portraits of Dogs 50 cents” on her display poster. She gave me an excellent picture of a sled dog team. But then I found Wild Pig and Monster Ray, two strange creatures drawn by an imaginative young man.
I picked up a copy of “Monster Ray Saves the Day” and a portrait of Wild Pig. Monster Ray is a bat-like, horned and very cool comic book hero who can fight in space. The story follows Monster Ray as his small ship gets sucked into a larger one. Creatures in the large ship come to destroy Ray’s ship, but he busts out of it and destroys them instead. Next Monster Ray saves Snarkle, his nemesis, from the crashing ship. In the last panel, Snarkle asks, “Why did you help me Monster Ray?” And Monster Ray replies “Heroes always help.” A very satisfying story.
The Growing Tree Toys Store Staff was hard at work making visors with kids outside of the store. More than 900 kids showed up to make a visor in a mad visor making dash that took less than three hours! That’s 300 visors an hour!
Despite the extreme heat, it was a successful Children’s Day. I saw some talented kids from the State College Suzuki Program, playing piano on the Allen Street stage. There was a National Marionette Theater performance of Hansel and Gretel and of course the beginnings of the giant sand sculpture in Central Parklet! There were also tons of educational activities from local wildlife organizations and art programs.
But my favorite part of the day has always been the Children and Youth Grand Procession of kids wearing paper mache masks and banners made by local artists. Luckily, I could watch it from my window!
If you missed all the fun, plan to drop by next year on July 13th. We’d love to see you here!
This has been an amazing kids post, celebrating all of our creative Pennsylvania kids! Images from the festival and marionette show are from the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival Website. Monster Ray, Wild Pig and the Dog Sled Team are scans of the Original artwork from awesome up-and-coming artists (whose names I didn’t get permission to share, but you will know them by their imaginations)!