Bellefonte — A Town for All Seasons
From Staff Reports
BELLEFONTE — Whether you visit Bellefonte in the spring, summer, fall or winter, you’ll find plenty of fun activities for the whole family, both at indoor attractions and in the great outdoors.
The downtown waterfront is a focal point of activity throughout the year, with its walking trail that passes historic buildings and scenic Talleyrand Park along the shores of Spring Creek. The creek is an internationally recognized wild trout stream whose crystal-clear waters run through Centre County and downtown Bellefonte.
Fly fishing kicks off along the creek each April when Pennsylvania trout season begins. One of the most favored locations is the aptly named Fisherman’s Paradise upstream from Bellefonte. The local chapter of Trout Unlimited operates an angling mentoring program there for military veterans.
Spring also is when kayakers return to Spring Creek’s Sunnyside Paddling Park. Visitors can watch the action or rent kayaks or canoes for their own day trips on local waters.
A great opportunity to celebrate Spring Creek occurs each May when the community gathers in Talleyrand Park for the Big Spring Festival, with entertainment, water sports, crafts and stocking of the creek with fish.
On a magical evening in September, dine along the waterfront under twinkling bistro lights during Bellefonte’s “Under the Lights” event. In December, shop the Winter Market, a village of vendors who set up along the waterfront in the style of a traditional German holiday market.
Beyond the Waterfront
The Winter Market happens the same weekend as Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, a popular event for almost four decades. The 19th century holiday celebration takes place throughout the historic downtown, where Victorian-costumed carolers stroll the streets and horse-drawn carriages give rides. ‘Tis the season for a festival of trees, breakfast with Santa, model train exhibit, holiday concerts and more.
Also in December, families reserve their own seats far in advance for the popular Santa Express journey on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad.
When warmer spring weather arrives, more than 11,000 yellow daffodils bloom throughout the town’s parks and gardens, thanks to the efforts of the Bellefonte Garden Club. More than 10,000 plastic eggs in a rainbow of colors hide in the landscape during the annual Community Easter Egg in Talleyrand Park, waiting for children to find their prizes.
April also is the month when the farmers market returns to the Gamble Mill parking lot. Each Saturday through November, farmers offer a variety of local produce and treats, from strawberries to corn on the cob and from hot sauce to homemade pies.
Summer brings festival and fair season to Centre County, beginning with the Bellefonte Children’s Fair in June, featuring games, crafts, music and more.
Talleyrand Park’s smooth lawns are the setting for the Bellefonte Intervalley Chamber’s annual croquet tournament.
For the past 30 years, Father’s Day weekend in Bellefonte has meant the Historic Bellefonte Cruise, when classic and high-performance cars, trucks and motorcycles line downtown streets for judging and perusing. A 1950s-style sock hop gets everyone in the action and the weekend finishes with an exciting soapbox derby race down Allegheny Street.
In rural Howard, historic Curtin Village and Eagle Ironworks begins its summer season in June. Visitors learn about the iron-making industry that played a large role in Centre County’s history by touring the 19th-century Curtin Mansion, water-powered furnace and workers’ village.
Music lovers gather around the gazebo in Talleyrand Park every Sunday evening throughout the summer for free outdoor concerts. In August, art of all kinds is featured at the Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair downtown. Artists sell their works at dozens of booths, musical entertainment takes the stage and kids can try their own hands-on activities.
Area residents know fall is approaching when the Centre Hall Grange Encampment Fair begins in Centre Hall. At almost 150 years old, the fair is a gathering place for farmers and 4-H kids who show off their livestock, as well as for anyone who enjoys the midway rides, daily entertainment and tempting treats ranging from funnel cakes to ice cream to chicken and waffles.
As autumn colors begin to decorate the landscape, Bellefonte’s Fall Festival Weekend attracts the community for an antique fair, Halloween costume parade, WingFest and other activities.
12 Months of Fun
Throughout the year, the first Sunday of every month features art receptions at the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County, while the final Friday brings extended shopping hours at local stores. Also popular year-round are exhibits at the American Philatelic Center and at the Centre County Library and Historical Museum.
With six state parks in Centre County plus thousands of acres of state forest lands, the mountains and valleys around Bellefonte offer four seasons of outdoor adventure. From the short butterfly trail in Bald Eagle State Park to the 310-mile Mid-State Trail, which passes through Centre County, options abound for strolling, hiking and backpacking. Bald Eagle State Park provides boating and fishing opportunities on the 1,730-acre FJ Sayers Lake. Other local outdoor favorites include mountain biking, cycling, bird watching, rock climbing, fishing and picnics.
Outdoor adventure, history, art, music, festivals and much more – it’s all waiting for you in the Intervalley area.
236 W. Lamb St.,
Bellefonte, Pa. 16823