THAW Festival Offers Fun Alternative to State Patty’s Day

If you’re considering avoiding the bars this State Patty’s Weekend, you now have an entertaining new alternative. Penn State’s first ever THAW Festival, inspired by the college film festival, kicks off Feb. 23 at the State Theatre with a documentary at 3:30 p.m. There’s something for everyone at THAW Festival, from films and concerts to magicians and comedians. There’s even a THAW 5K!

Valley sat down with Vinh Vuong, a media rep for THAW, to talk about the upcoming festivities.

“The mission [of THAW] is to unite the greater State College and Penn state community to support and highlight local talents in film music and comedy while enjoying a fun, unique experience,” says Vuong.

With Arts Fest in the summer, football season in the fall and THON ending in February, Penn State starts to slow down during late-winter. THAW is aiming to serve as a winter festival that the State College community can look forward to. THAW offers entertaining (and free!) events for people of all ages.

“I think the whole atmosphere is what’s going to drive people here,” says Vuong

If you attend any event during THAW Festival, you can enter the selfie attendance contest. Take a photo at the event, post it on social media and you can win huge prizes. THAW is giving away Kevin Hart tickets, concert tickets, gift cards and cameras.

Some of the highlights at THAW include “Last Comic Standing” runner up Ron G, favorite local folk band Pure Cane Sugar, Penn State graduate student Eric Farmer and bluegrass group Tussey Mountain Moonshiners.

Rappers, punk rock bands, documentaries, a capella groups and open m.i.c. nights are also on the schedule.

Along with the great talent, there will also be delicious food. Hot chocolate stands and vendors including Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard will have food stands set up throughout the weekend. And, rumor has it; there will be samples and freebies!

Most events are happening this Friday and Saturday – the kickoff to State Patty’s weekend. Vuong says THAW wasn’t necessarily created to replace State Patty’s Day, but rather to “add on to the demand for year round events” at Penn State.

To view the full schedule of events and learn about volunteering opportunities at the festival, visit or follow THAW on Twitter @ThawFest.


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