From Punkin’ Chunkin’ to Homecoming court, Happy Valley has it all this fall

– by Jeff Cavanaugh

Fall is in the air! Penn State football is back at Beaver Stadium, students are back on campus and in school, the nights are getting cooler, and pumpkin spice season is in full swing across Happy Valley.

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If you’re looking for some fall fun and want to get in the Halloween spirit, here is a quick look at some great festivals and events going on across Happy Valley this fall!

Penn State Homecoming
October 8 – October 14

Homecoming is one of the best traditions in college athletics and it is the perfect opportunity to welcome back all Penn State alumni to campus. Homecoming week is filled with celebrations that showcase the history and traditions of Penn State University. Community organizations, student groups and downtown businesses all play an integral role in the success of Homecoming Week. This year’s Homecoming theme is “Illuminate the Lion Within.”

The Homecoming festivities wrap up on Saturday, October 14 at 3:30 when the Nittany Lions kickoff against the UMass Minutemen.

For a full list of Homecoming events and updates, click here or download the Penn State Go app!

40th Annual Ghosts and Goblins at Lincoln Caverns
Fridays and Saturdays throughout October
7703 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon

Everyone likes a little scare once the calendar turns to October and what better place to search out ghosts than a cave? Lincoln Caverns is celebrating the 40th year of their popular Ghosts and Goblins tours on Fridays and Saturdays from October 6 through October 27. While the haunted hayrides and tours leave every 20 minutes at night, families can take daytime tours on Saturdays with just the right mix of fall fun and education! Click here to buy tickets.

Downtown State College Farmers Market

Downtown State College Farmers Market
Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Locust Ln., State College

The Downtown State College Farmers Market is a vibrant, producer-only market that brings together local farmers, artisans, and food producers in the heart of the State College. It provides an excellent opportunity for residents and visitors to connect with the local agricultural community while enjoying a wide variety of fresh produce, specialty foods, and handcrafted goods.

The market is open from until the end of November on Locust Lane. Click here for a list of the amazing local vendors!

Punkin’ Chunkin’ Fall Festival
October 21
149 Main Park Rd., Howard

On October 21, pumpkins will be flying at Bald Eagle State Park! The one-day festival, held annually by the Howard Fire Company, features catapults and other machines that launch pumpkins hundreds of feet through the air and send them splashing down into the nearby lake. The one-day festival also includes dozens of local craft vendors and food vendors, hayrides, and a pumpkin pie eating contest. The festival is free to attend!

First Night State College Ice Slide

Friday in the 'Fonte and Movies in the Park
Friday, October 27
Downtown Bellefonte

Downtown Bellefonte has become a great destination in Happy Valley for shopping, eating, and recreation! Since May, Bellefonte has been hosting a monthly Friday in the ‘Fonte event featuring live music, entertainment, and a movie at Talleyrand Park! On Friday, October 27, remember to bring your lawn chairs and blankets for the live music at the courthouse (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and stick around to watch Hocus Pocus at the park at dusk!

First Night State College
December 31, 2023
Downtown State College

It’s never too early to plan for New Year’s Eve! First Night State College is the best way to ring in the new year in Happy Valley. From music, comedy and trivia to ice sculptures, crafts and a 5k – there is something for everyone at First Night State College. Keep an eye on this fall for updates and event schedules!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at