Whether you’re an art aficionado or a newcomer who’s just learning to appreciate the arts, Route 45 Getaways (R45G) is one event for which you’ll want to keep your ears and eyes open. Dates have yet to be set for 2022, but plans are already in the works after the smashing success of the inaugural event held in 2021.
The villages of Millheim and Pine Grove Mills served as anchor points along the Route 45 Corridor for the nine-day event in August. However, arts-focused events took place at various locations along the 25-mile stretch that lies between the two towns.
"PA 45 is a hidden jewel, one of the nicest little by-ways in these United States," said Tim Bowser of Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks in Millheim. "Route 45 east of Millheim pretty much lured me to settle in Penns Valley. Most Octobers, the roadway down through Penns Valley is utterly spectacular!"
Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks, known for its locally sourced, farm-to-fork menu offerings, hosted a number of events during the inaugural R45G. "[We] provide a very welcoming community gathering spot featuring our excellent craft brews," Bowser said. "Local artists adorn our walls, and original live music will emanate from our stage again one day soon."
Bowser is a real advocate of supporting local businesses. He lists Boalsburg Farmers Market, Inglebean Coffee House, Hairy Johns State Park, Wasson Farm Market, and The Naked Egg (among others) as some of his personal longtime favorite spots on 45.
Pine Grove Hall was another one of the popular stops during R45G. “We have a state-of-the art sound and lighting system,” said Liz Grove, owner of the newly refurbished dining establishment and steering committee member of R45G. “We are so happy to be able to bring together our communities through live music and our locally sourced dishes.”
Grove, along with her fellow steering committee members, was pleased with the turnout for this inaugural event.
“We had a vision for an arts-focused celebration that we thought could strengthen relationships between local villages, businesses, and community organizations,” she explained. “We had a very short time to ramp up, but over the course of nine days, we had 22 destinations that participated in over forty-eight different events from live music and pottery making to walking garden tours and outdoor painting events.”
“We had a vision for an arts-focused celebration that we thought could strengthen relationships between local villages, businesses, and community organizations. We had a very short time to ramp up, but over the course of nine days, we had 22 destinations that participated in over forty-eight different events from live music and pottery making to walking garden tours and outdoor painting events.”
Events for 2022 could include mini arts fests, pottery demonstrations, Native American Flute music, Suminigashi paper marbling demonstrations, outdoor activities, open studio and gallery events, pastel painting demonstrations, and tons of live music at some of the best restaurants in Centre County.
“I think the response from the communities has made it clear that there is need to bridge the gap between our villages and between our business and creative communities,” said Grove.
The R45G steering committee says that with additional funding and more lead time, the 2022 event should be even more impactful for our small business communities. They hope the event will grow to be a well-loved tradition in Central Pennsylvania, and the Centre Region in particular.
“As the world reopens, it’s more important than ever that we remain steadfast in our commitment to celebrate and support all things local,” Grove said. “We have the perfect structure with our Route 45 Getaways initiative — it was born at the perfect time.”
Head over to www.route45getaways.com for all the latest news about the 2022 event. If your business or organization is located in or around Route 45 in Centre County, you can also find information about hosting an art or music event as part of R45G this year. Musicians and artists can also sign up to be part of the event.
Stops along the way include:
Farmers Markets & Shops
Wineries | Cideries | Breweries
Art | Gardens & Wetlands
Simon Leach Pottery
Stitch Your Art Out
Cynthia Nixon Art
Rhoneymeade Arboretum & Sculpture Garden
The Historic Barn@Cooke Tavern | Wetlands
The Green Drake Gallery & Arts Center
Art Alliance of Central PA @ Mt Nittany Winery