CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — For the second straight year, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and Philipsburg Heritage Days have cancelled their in-person event, due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a press release on their website, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Board of Directors say the current public health guidelines “makes it impossible to produce the event our community has come to know and love.”

“We must continue to put the health and safety of our audience members, artists, performers, volunteers, and sponsors first,” the release stated.

The Board of Directors also say they discussed potentially changing the date of the festival, and even moving to an alternate site. However, in the end, they believed none of those alternative options could adequately meet the expectations for the participants, as well as safety of those involved.

“This was an even more difficult decision to make this year than it was last year in the early days of the pandemic” said Renata S. Engel, CPFA board president. 

“We have heard from so many of you how important the Festival is to our community and that you want it to return to the streets of State College and on our Penn State campus. And we want that too. We’re committed to making that happen in the future and creating a virtual festival this year.”

The focus of the Arts Fest staff is to now present artists and musicians in a virtual festival in early July. Events for the online experience will be scheduled and listed on their website.

The Arts Fest is also the anchor event of a week that includes Heritage Days in Philipsburg, which will also not be held, and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg. However, the People’s Choice Festival have not announced their plans for this summer yet.

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts also produces First Night State College each year on December 31, and as of now, plans are in place for the event to return in its traditional form in 2021.