From Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon in the second weekend in July, State College comes alive with art. Artists come from all over the country to showcase their art, and ideally make a few sales. From hand carved wooden spoons to ceiling mobiles to tables made from Penn State’s famous Elm trees. There are hundreds of stands as well as various stages setup across campus and downtown where bands play and people congregate. Allen St is shut down for a few blocks, in addition to other streets, and the whole community has a good old time.
At least that’s what is supposed to happen. But just outside of downtown are a group of people that frequently intermingle with the event, but certainly don’t come for the same reasons as most visitors. This group of people is Penn State students. Arts Fest is a call to all of these students to return to Penn State for one weekend to party; all day, all night, all the time.
It picks up slowly Friday night, and by Saturday it is in full force. By Saturday afternoon I witness over a hundred people crammed on small front yard outside one of the multitude of house parties. These returning students increase the density of the crowds dramatically. While State College sidewalks are rarely filled for this weekend they are jam packed with people, with nothing to do but have a good time.
On Saturday afternoon I witness guys in one of the balconies in Beaver Canyon rating girls as they walked by. Holding up large pieces of paper with numbers on it I hear them shouting, “She’s a 7,” followed by a quick rebuttal from a fellow self-proclaimed-judge, “No, no she’s only a 6 … now that one is a 7.”
A few minutes and blocks later I hear someone scream “HEY!!” I turn to see who is yelling at me and I see a girl with a bright green shirt on. She stops yelling and promptly lifts her shirt revealing a maroon bra.
I quickly turn my head away and continue walking, now in a daze. I ask the people walking with me, “where am I?”
Drunk college town in between semesters. Welcome to Penn State, 2nd best party school of the 00s, still going strong