ChalkFest to beautify Springfield park Saturday

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

What might be called the unofficial art of fall in Springfield will color downtown again on Saturday when ChalkFest returns for its sixth outing.

The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National Road Commons Park, 50 W. Main St.

Attendees can watch chalk artists create unique works right on the park’s sidewalks, listen to live music, participate in activities, create their own chalk art and enjoy refreshments from food trucks. It will all be complemented by the debut of another downtown signature display, Project Scare-a-Crow.

Admission is free. ChalkFest is presented by Project Jericho and National Trail Parks and Recreation District.

Lauren Houser, Project Jericho director, said ChalkFest is a highlight of the year for Project Jericho and National Trail, and hope community members feel the same way, marking the turn of the seasons as October arrives with fall colors and weather.

“This year’s chalk art competition is once again full, and we see a lot of familiar faces on the list of participants with some artists having come back every year since our first festival in 2017,” Houser said. “We’re also thrilled to see new names on the list, hoping to make it a memorable weekend and new tradition for them.”

ChalkFest wouldn’t feel the same without the talents of two different types of artists – Dayton-based artist Benjamin Baugham, also known as Blue, and the music of Adelee & Gentry.

An even longer tradition, Project Scare-a-Crow will celebrate a landmark anniversary as the Clark State Performing Arts Center celebrates its 30th season this year with the exhibit “Thirty Years of Incredible Entertainment,” with scarecrows designed to show performances that have happened on the stage during that time.

Six Project Jericho families worked collaboratively with local artists to create the scarecrows for the display. This program empowers families to dream big while learning to use new and repurposed art materials.

A corner display featuring characters from the upcoming “Shrek the Musical” is already up in the park. There will be 12 scarecrows in the installation including “Lyle, Lyle the Crocodile,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs,” “Annie,” “Oompa Loompa” and “Winnie the Pooh.”

ChalkFest attendees can vote for their favorites at the event. Kristi Limes, Project Jericho success coordinator, works with the families and said this celebrates in multiple ways.

“Over the years, Clark State Performing Arts Center has been generous in providing opportunities for Project Jericho families to attend shows. and reviewing the list of shows has been like walking down memory lane,” she said. “Many shows are significant not only because of the high-quality performances but also because of who I remember being in the audience. Some parents discovered their child’s early interest in the arts through these performances.”

The scarecrow installation will be displayed at National Road Commons Park through October 20.

There will also be a variety of food trucks, including New Orleans Grill, Chido’s Tacos, Kerry’s Café, Briella’s Hot Dogs, and more.

“It’s going to be a great day to visit and enjoy downtown Springfield and all it has to offer,” Houser said.

Project Jericho is a program of Clark State College supported through funding from the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, Clark County Juvenile Court, Ohio Arts Council, The Turner Foundation, Community Health Foundation and private contributions.


What: ChalkFest

Where: National Road Commons Park, 50 W. Main St., Springfield

When: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7

Admission: Free

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