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Happy Valley (Pennsylvania) facts for kids

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Happy Valley

State College, PA MSA
Centre Region Council of Governments
The Corner of College Avenue and Allen Street
Nitttany Lion Shrine
Beaver Stadium
Clockwise from top left: Downtown State College at Allen Street, Nittany Lion Shrine, Beaver Stadium, and The HUB at Pennsylvania State University
Map of Pennsylvania (Centre County in red)
Map of Pennsylvania (Centre County in red)
Country Flag of United States.svg United States
State Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania
Principal cities State College, College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson
351 m (1,154 ft)
 • Metro
MSA:158,742 (US: 257th)
CSA: 236,577 (US: 124th)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EST)

Happy Valley, Pennsylvania, also known as the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, is a region of Centre County that contains the borough of State College, and the townships of College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson. Collectively, these municipalities comprise the "Centre Region Council of Governments." By definition, the region is bounded by Nittany Valley to the northeast, Penns Valley to the east, and Bald Eagle Valley to the north and west. The region is part of the State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area.


The name "Happy Valley" is the name given to the area since the Great Depression of the 1930s as the area was generally not hit hard financially because of the presence of Pennsylvania State University. Though the term "Happy Valley" is generally synonymous with State College Borough, the region also includes the townships of College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson.


Medlar Lubrano 1
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, home of the State College Spikes

The culture of Happy Valley is largely dominated by Penn State University. The activities that occur in this region largely surround the student activities, such as "student arrivals", football Saturdays, Homecoming, and graduation. Though the region is also home to the State College Spikes, a minor league baseball team, the area is most known for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team.

During the summer session, the student population is known to return to their home towns thus reducing the population significantly. During this time, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, usually referred to as "Arts Fest", is held for five days and draws many visitors to town during what would otherwise be a quiet period. Streets are closed off and lined with booths where people can buy paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other hand-made goods. There are also numerous musical performances and plays to take in, and food vendors selling everything from funnel cakes to Indian cuisine.

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, commonly referred to as THON, is a 46-hour Dance Marathon that takes place every February on the University Park campus with the purpose of raising money for the Four Diamonds Foundation. A number of events throughout the year pave the way to February's THON weekend.

Blue-White Football Weekend occurs in April and includes a carnival, fireworks, food vendors, the student entertainment stage, live music, a parade, and more. On game day, an autograph session with the football student-athletes is held in Beaver Stadium, prior to kickoff of the Blue-White football intrasquad scrimmage game.

Students sit outside Pennsylvania State College, circa 1922
Students sit outside Pennsylvania State College, circa 1922
Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team
Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team


Population by Age Distribution (2010 Census)
Age Range Percentage of Population
Under 18 16.9%
Ages 20-34 34.3%
Ages 35-49 16.3%
Ages 50-64 16.4%
Ages 65+ 12.3%
Population by Race Distribution (2010 Census)
Race Percentage of Population
White 89.4%
Asian 5.2%
Black/African American 3.0%
American Indian/Alaskan native 0.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.0%
Hispanic/Latino Origin 2.4%
Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American Women in Medicine:
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Susie King Taylor
Ida Gray
Eliza Ann Grier
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