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May's Friday in the Fonte Proves 'This Place Matters'

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Bellefont, PA 16823

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By Serge Bielanko

This Friday Bellefonte will have her chance to shine. As she deserves.

See, throughout the month of May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has been running a nationwide campaign called 'This Place Matters'. It's a consolidated effort to get people talking openly about the places and communities that are important to them. In a time when so many young people have a fizzling sense of their own history, of where they are from and who came before them, campaigns like this might even serve a greater purpose they even set out to do. Sure, we all want to make certain that buildings and homes with historical significance remain protected in our midst, but there's so much more than that when it comes to history and historical preservation, isn't there?

I mean, without some sense of unified understanding of who we are...each of us...alone and together...then, if you ask me (you didn't, I know, but this is my article!), we become way more lost than we ever need to be.

But perhaps that's an entirely different thing I need to write another day. Point is: Bellefonte is no stranger to history and her significance in our lives. You can't even walk down the main drag in this town without being chased around by a ghost of some sort, figuratively speaking. And so, it makes perfect sense that our own relentless boosters of all things related to 'this place' would want to get on board this particular train. I'm talking about Downtown Bellefonte Inc (DBI), those masterminds of fun in the name of all sorts of progress around here. They've been throwing these specially-themed Friday in the Fonte shindigs lately and this month's is looking to be pretty spectacular.

This month's FITF is May 31st and the theme is (ahem...you guessed it) tied into the NTHP's 'This Place Matters' campaign. Because, as DBI's Ellen Matis sees it, it's vital that the town's numerous small business owners and shopkeepers and residents alike all get just how historically cool Bellefonte truly is.

"Really, it's our hope that business owners and residents alike use this as a time to take a second to appreciate the unique and historic architecture that our town has," she says.

And I second that emotion.

So how's this sound for a Friday night for you?

Featured business, Art a la Carte, in the the Brockerhoff House at 107 South Allegheny Street, is celebrating it's recent grand opening by offering 10% off jewelry by Elizabeth Hay, Kristen Osborne Connell, Carol Korte, and Dana Pitzer; plus 10% off Veronica Wise wood home accessories, Kishacoquillas goat milk soap products, Suzy Decker glass, & Susan Nicholas Gephart artwork. They're just a few of the many local artists and craftspeople whose works and wares are being promoted and sold in this very welcome new shop.

Owner Elizabeth Hay is a renown Central Pa jewelry artist herself, and she's seriously excited about being able to offer up a vast selection of one-of-a-kind artsy items, all locally made. But she's also just as thrilled to be offering all kinds of classes as well, from Learning Chain Maille to sewing to needlepoint and beyond. This will be a place where professional artists and first-timers alike can come to learn, grow, and share creative impulses. Not to mention THE place to buy the best birthday or holiday gifts that no one else will think of.

Speaking of local art and artists, Bellefonte's resident quilting guru, Barbara Dann, will be celebrating Friday in the Fonte by putting on one of her wonderful quilting demonstrations at her shop, Alleycat Quiltworks, 107 E. High Street. This month she's featuring a quilt called 'Galaxy', and it's one of her all-time favorites. So stop in between 4-7pm to get a taste of why this quilt that looks so difficult to create really isn't! (Well, according to Barbara; I'm sure it would take me 30 years). Plus she'll have special FITF prices on certain items in the store.

What else is happening?

Well, if you're bringing the kids along CO2- The Unique Boutique, 104 North Allegheny St., is a must-stop. They'll be offering up kids activities including face painting. No, you can't get your face painted like Lady Gaga going out to a club dressed like a tiger, my friend. But your kids can if they want! But check this out: grown-ups get a free palm tree necklace just for stopping by. Just in time for summer. That's a darn god deal.

Other participating Friday in the Fonte May businesses include:

Victorian House Antiques, 121 S Allegheny St, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find higher-end antiques and fine jewelry at Victorian House Antiques. They’re offering 15% off a purchase made with cash or check.

Jabebo Studio Store, 224 W High St, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Their signature Jabebo Earrings are always on display so come try a pair or two on. Plus they feature locally made bath and beauty products as well as hand-made and fair-trade items. Special deal for FITF? You bet. Buy two pairs of earrings and get a third pair free.

Down at Brother’s N.Y. Style Pizzeria, 102 N. Allegheny St., Friday in the Fonte people can enjoy a 16″ one-topping pizza and 2 liter soda for only $14.00, dine-in only.  Or check out their subs, cheesesteaks, strombolis, wings, fries and more.

The folks at Good Intent Cider, 167 S Potter St, 3 to 10 p.m. will be offering visitors a Friday in the ‘Font small-batch cider release. Perfect place to stop to rest and refresh during your town stroll.

At Confer’s Jewelers, 100 N Allegheny St, live music, food and drinks are all on the menu, as well as their usual lovely array of beautiful things. And are you ready, for this?! You will get a free pair of pearl earrings just for coming in! WHAT???!! It's true.

Everyone knows that Plumb’s Cards and Gifts, 105 N Allegheny St, has all kinds of beautiful home decor, gifts, cards and stationary. But listen! Don’t forget about their old-fashioned soda fountain with hard ice cream, okay? It's a spectacular part of Bellefonte's history and you need to go sit at it and travel back in time. For FITF: get 25% off your regularly priced gift shop purchas.

And of course, Bellefonte Wok, 111 S Allegheny St, is open late, until 10:45 p.m for any Friday-ers  (like me) who starts craving spring rolls and Peanut Chicken around 9 every Friday night. Takeout or dine-in. KIds love it. You love it. I love it. See you there.

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