I was back at Penn State this past weekend for a visit.

Last week, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts was celebrated on and around the Penn State Campus in State College, Pa.

Arts Fest is a week smack in the middle of summer when you can walk around town and feel like it's any other day of the school year. Except for the higher temperatures of course.

A lot of students and alumni venture up to Happy Valley for the annual Arts Fest. College and Beaver Avenues get packed by pedestrians and traffic. Vendors are on the streets. All the stores are open. The beer distributors have longer lines. And the Arts Fest exhibits are everywhere.

Art stands line the streets in a winding trail through campus and around downtown. Pottery, paintings, sculpture, jewelry and basically anything art is represented.

Besides all the actual art during the week, Arts Fest is a party week. With all the people in town, the town is just as hopping as on a football weekend. From people pregaming before walking around downtown to the nightlife, it's a great week.

Students and alumni get to see each other between the school years and slip back into Penn State mode for a week of summer. People from all around all concentrate to Central Pennsylvania for one reason: Penn State.

Bars are packed and parties are all over. Campus even sponsors events for the special week. A free Lit show was part of After Fest this year.

While I was up for my mini vacation, I caught the Ludacris show at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Luda played to the PSU audience, improvising some lyrics to shout out the school and mentioning 814 (the State College area code) before breaking into "Area Codes."

Ludacris slyly led into each of his popular songs. When the audience was sitting, he had them "Stand Up." Where does Luda stay when he's in town? The "Holidae Inn."

It was a great show, my first concert where almost everyone was dancing the whole time. Luda played all the songs I wanted and a few more. Young Gunz was supposed to open, but they were stuck in traffic.

At the end of my weekend, I packed up my car to finish up moving out of my school apartment. Penn State doesn't stop making memories, and I'm going to be visiting as an alum for as long as I can.

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One of my favorite things my roommates and I would do this past school year was throw dinner parties. Yes, dinner parties.

We would invite our neighbors and friends over in advance for themed dinner parties.

The four of us each took turns hosting these parties, and the theme and course changed for each occasion, as did the dinner music.

Our very first dinner party was formal. We dolled up in dresses and made the boys wear ties. I made lasagna, with each of my roommates and guests contributing a dish. A variety of wine accompanied the meal. It was of course Arbor Mist; we were poor college students.

My favorite dinner party was the breakfast dinner party. Everyone dressed in pajamas, and we ate breakfast food for dinner. We had bacon, pancakes, omelets and toast accompanied by screwdrivers and fuzzy navels.

One of our weirdest themes was the white trash dinner party. We dined on mac and cheese, hotdogs and chips and drank Kool-Aid with vodka. I wore a side ponytail and a white "wifebeater" with black straps hanging out. No offense intended. We were just having fun.

You always need to have the appropriate drink with your meal.

I hope these dinner parties carry into my post-PSU years.

Life is like a photo album; make sure to take lots of pictures.

Kelly Devine can be reached at kdevine@phoenixvillenews.com.

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