Take action | State College, Pennsylvania

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It’s spring in Happy Valley! Besides your annual reminder to do your spring cleaning and that “April showers bring May flowers,” this spring is different. Why? Because for the first time since March 2020, it looks like most people feel safe enough to resume relatively normal lives, and that’s an exciting turn of events. Despite the recent teaser of a snowfall, we saw more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and people engaging in outdoor activities again.

For all the “Pragmatic Passioneers”, you also know that the start of a new term is the perfect time for a “You Review”. This is an opportunity to analyze how the first quarter of 2022 has started for you and how you can take action as temperatures rise and daylight saving time lengthens. Now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, it’s time to come out of hibernation and get outside to enjoy the myriad outdoor activities in Center County. Fresh air and reunion with friends and family (albeit cautiously) is just what the doctor ordered.

This past weekend, our friends from Alaska, Rachel and Dan Gernat, stayed with us while visiting their freshman daughter at Penn State and enjoying the many trails to hike including around the Arboretum, from the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail, through Toftrees, the Tussey Mountain Ridge, Shingletown Gap and, of course, Mount Nittany. They fell in love with Center County!

So what does Center County have in store for the next few months? Glad you asked! For a quick overview, visit the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau website at happyvalley.com/events/ and the community calendar on this website at statecollege.com/events.

The annual Bleu-Blanc game (Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m.) will bring alumni and fans eager to return to Happy Valley. Fans can enjoy a quiet weekend and catch a glimpse of some of the early entrants in what some experts consider an exceptional incoming recruiting class. My family will be cheering on local favorite and State High graduate, senior defensive back Keaton Ellis.

While I’m talking about Penn State, remember that if you’re an alumni, be sure to vote for all three alumni seats in the next board election. Your vote matters and if you want to see a change, reach out to the nominees and voice your concerns or make your suggestions on how to improve our alma mater.

See the bottom of the column for a non-exhaustive selection of events and activities for your consideration.

One activity I’m very passionate about is the Topgolf Live Stadium Tour from June 2-5, which will allow fans to experience Beaver Stadium like never before. It doesn’t matter if you are an avid golfer or just want to try a fun activity in our iconic athletics stadium, it will be a pleasure. For a preview of what that might look like, check out the Topgolf Live experience.

For the few complainants who question the decision to hold non-traditional events at Beaver Stadium, all I can say is, come on people, relax. We cannot have it both ways. You can’t fault the fact that we don’t use Beaver Stadium enough, so be critical when we try out new events. The tour will take place in Alabama and Arkansas before heading north to Beaver Stadium. This is going to be a fun event and I encourage you to register while slots are still available and filling up fast.

In January, I sat down with Mike Wierzbicki, former marketing director of Pegula Ice Arena and Penn State Hockey in Minneapolis. Mike is now an AD associated with Minnesota, and he loved this event which the Minnesota fans really enjoyed. They sold out and it was a win-win for the participants, Topgolf and the university.

There are, of course, many golf courses in Center County, and you can find information on memberships and tee times on Golflink. The Coaches vs. Cancer is one of my personal favorites in the region and will be held Friday, June 3 at the Penn State Golf Courses. Speaking of golf and Penn State, I remember old golf balls with the image of Joe Paterno that, according to legend, promoters said were “guaranteed to go up the middle three out of four times.” You can put Joe’s face towards your club and hit him or turn him face the fairway and “let him fly”.

Additional sporting and entertainment events to consider:

Breaking Benjamin, April 27 at the Bryce Jordan Center: https://bjc.psu.edu/events-tickets

Three-time Grammy winner Shawn Colvin on May 10 at the State Theater’s Friedman Auditorium: https://thestatetheatre.org/events/shawn-colvin/

Conscious Triathlon, May 21 at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg: https://www.leftrightrepeat.net/current-events.html

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic Race, May 28-29 at Rothrock State Park: https://www.tsepicmtb.com/

The State College Spikes begin play June 3 at Medlar Field: https://www.milb.com/state-college

Bellefonte Children’s Fair, June 4: http://visitbellefonte.com/events.php

Colyer Lake Duathlon, June 4: https://www.ymcaofcentrecounty.org/races/colyer-lake-duathlon/

Rothrock Grit Gravel Grinder, June 11 in Boalsburg: https://www.bikereg.com/50707

Bellefonte cruise, June 17 and 18: https://www.bellefontecruise.org/

Central PA Tasting Trail Craft Beverage Expo, June 26 at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte: https://www.centralpatastingtrail.com/

Philipsburg Heritage Days, July 12-17: https://philipsburgheritagedays.com/schedule-of-events/

Whatever your interests, Center County has plenty of activities and events for you and yours. Encourage your friends and family to “take action” and make Happy Valley a top destination this spring and summer.

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