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See art, compete for cash and prizes at Chalk Fest in Idaho Falls this summer

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – The sidewalks around the Idaho Falls Public Library will become more colorful thanks to the Idaho Falls Sidewalk Chalk Festival.

The Sidewalk Chalk Festival is set for Saturday, July 16 and will offer artists of all ages a chance to create artwork for the public to enjoy, as well as compete for cash and other prizes. The intent is to strengthen the Idaho Falls community while simultaneously raising the visibility of Riverwest Dental, the event’s sponsor, and their business partners.

“The Sidewalk Chalk Festival is something to bring a lot of companies and people together, get sponsors and a big reward,” Kyle Peterson, the event’s organizer, told “And everyone loves sidewalk chalk, so let’s do that.”

Peterson said he was inspired to put together Sidewalk Chalk Festival by similar events in other cities.

“I’d been to the (sidewalk chalk event) in Boise,” he said. “When trying to come up with an event that we could be a part of, I researched the other festivals online and then from there, it kind of jumped out in my mind to have a ranked bracket and to garner some artists who really want to compete for a $1,000 prize.”

The family-friendly festival is split into three brackets: Ranked, Family and Just for Fun. The Ranked and Family brackets will compete for cash prizes while the Just for Fun bracket will all receive small prizes and shout-out on social media.

All kinds of styles and approaches to the art is welcome.

“The theme we’re going to do is ‘What Makes You You,’” said Peterson. “We’ve got some guidelines for appropriateness: no hate symbols or associated with groups that are not appropriate. But for the most part, it can be an expression of you. Maybe it’s your favorite show, maybe it’s a favorite anime, maybe it’s a favorite book, maybe it’s an activity you like to do. We’re expecting a really eclectic collection of art because it’s what makes you you.”

Peterson said he believes chalk art is so appealing because of the memories it can trigger.

“I think it’s the nostalgia,” Peterson said. “There always seems to be a memory, young kid to teenager to adult, associated with sidewalk chalk. Whether you’re participating with it in hopscotch or drawing something at school recess or outside of school as a little kid, or as a teenager bored during the summer so you get creative, or as an adult when you have your own kid and you looking for something to do so you send the kids out with sidewalk chalk.”

“There’s probably going to be something that speaks to you that an artist will express at the event,” he added. “The beauty of chalk art is that the artists put a lot into it and they do know that in a short while, it’s not going to be there anymore. It’s very finite. Footsteps and rain will wash it away within a couple of weeks, so attending the event is the best way to see something that’s truly going to speak to you.”

The Idaho Falls Sidewalk Chalk Festival is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Library. Admission is free to the public. If you’re interested in doing art for the show, click here to get tickets. More information is available on the event’s Facebook page.

If you’re a business interested in participating in the Sidewalk Chalk Festival, click here to contact Riverwest Dental.