Local artists showcase craft at Altoona’s First Frontier Festival


Blair County, Pa (WTAJ)- Local artists from across the Central PA region gathered in Altoona Saturday for the First Frontier Festival. The festival took place in Heritage Plaza in the downtown area. 2021 marked the third year for the festival.

Many people were excited to get to the festival this year because of the pandemic canceling the event last year. The theming for the event was inspired by a book that a local author wrote about the First Frontier. Candy Holliday, the event coordinator for the events, says that they wanted to tie in local artists and the theming.

“We thought why not tie in some Americano and blue cross music,” Holliday said. “And with some handcraft vendors, so yeah, it’s just a great celebration.”

The artists were invited to the event by Holliday. Many of their crafts ranged from jewelry making to popcorn making. Local food vendors and trucks also participated in the event. All the music performances were from solo artists and bands local to the area.

One vendor turned a bad experience into something good. Veronica Wilson and her husband started their company, Tru Healing Concepts, from the successful treatment to an injury. Wilson’s husband had an Achilles injury and used CBD as a form of treatment.

After a year of planning and trials perfecting their formula, the husband and wife duo opened a store in Altoona. They had a formal grand opening of the story Friday. Wilson says that she was excited to be able to come to the festival as a local business.

“We were line cooks hanging out working for someone else, and we decided to break away and pursue own dreams,” Wilson said. “To have lived here our whole lives and be able to be a part of the business community is a super awesome feeling.”

New to the event this year was a corn hole tournament. Teams began the tournament around 2 in the afternoon and went on for most of the evening.

Altoona First Savings Bank sponsors the festival. The President and CEO of the bank, Troy Campbell, says that this event recognizes the importance of supporting local artistry

“We really believe in the importance of shopping local, dining local, playing local, banking local,” Campbell said. “We think it’s valuable just to celebrate local.”

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