Chalktoberfest

Chalktoberfest: Sidewalks and scarecrows come to life in Springfield

The scarecrows are up, the chalk is ready and the sidewalks of National Road Commons Park downtown are set to become art canvases.

One of Springfield’s newest autumn highlights for families, Chalktoberfest will bring several forms of artistic expression to the park, located at 21 Fisher St., from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event is presented by National Trail Parks and Recreation and Project Jericho. Admission is free.

Not only will several teams of local people work to create their own masterworks using sidewalk chalk on the walks around the park, but the grass will be filled with original superheroes created by Project Jericho families and local organizations as part of the annual Project Scare-a-Crow.

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“The community has really gotten behind this,” said Kristi Limes, Project Jericho success coordinator. “There’s so much quality art out there and we have something unique here.”

Dayton artist Boy Blue taught several Project Jericho students the possibilities of sidewalk chalk pastels as art over the summer and will be on hand at the first Chalktoberfest competition. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

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Visitors can see the distinctive works being created before their eyes. Back to lead things will be Dayton artist Boy Blue, who spent time with several of the Project Jericho participants in an open studio session, offering pointers on how to make their art stand out during the competition.

“Blue is so excited, his designs have rubbed off on the kids,” said Donna Hill, Project Jericho outreach assistant. A Project Jericho member actually won the grand prize at a preview competition.

Limes said it may surprise people that many of the competitors can take up to seven hours to perfect their works.

“It takes good craftsmanship and very difficult to compose,” Limes said. “They have to be creative and have a complexity to their designs.”

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Paul Arnold work on his chalk picture Saturday during Chalktoberfest at Naional Road Commons Park. Bill Lackey/Staff

Among the 20 scarecrows created from scratch are fresh heroes such as Pollinator Girl and Supertoes, a foot out to stomp out bullying. The message was to do something empowering to help others.

Visitors can even do their own art. Sidewalk chalk will be available to create with, and the Springfield Museum of Art will have its own tent with a variety of projects to do.

Popular local band The American Landscape will perform, along with roaming performers, and food trucks will be available throughout the event.

Those who can’t attend Chalktoberfest can still check out the finished works for several days afterward as it takes a while for the weather to diminish the art.

Artists work on their chalk drawings during the Chalk Art Competition at the 2017 Chalktoberfest on the Marietta Square in Marietta GA Saturday, October 14, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer

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