21st Annual Chalk the Block Brings Mid Summer Family Fun and Sidewalk Sales to St. Joseph

Need a summer boredom buster for your family before the back-to-school crunch begins? St. Joseph, Mich., is hosting its 21st Annual Chalk the Block and Sidewalk Sales August 3rd to August 6th.

Sponsored by North Pier Brewing Co., this free event brings in regional artists who create chalk masterpieces downtown on Broad St., between Lake Blvd. and State St. Various other professional chalk artists are coming in from across the country to participate in this event with help from the featured artist sponsor, Lake Michigan College. Event goers can also vote for their favorite artist renderings in the People’s Choice vote. Tickets will be sold at the People’s Choice Tent on Broad St. for one dollar each from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. One dollar equals one vote towards the favored artist; the artist with the most tickets by the end of the weekend wins the People’s Choice Award.

For those interested in learning more about chalk art, an Artist Workshop will be hosted at The Box Factory on Aug. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.  Zapal said this workshop is perfect for anyone ages 12 and up, “It’s a chance to try a new medium, refine skills and learning something new from a chalk master.” The fee for the workshop is $35 and includes materials and admission into the Artist Welcome Reception later that evening.

Chalk art isn’t the only sidewalk entertainment planned. City merchants will showcase sales merchandise outside and local organizations will hold special events such as heritage walking tours, a farmers market, Antiques on the Bluff and free, horse-drawn trolley rides around this Victorian-era town.

New this year, Meet the Artists event hosted by North Pier Brewing Co. on Saturday evening from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Grab a beer and mingle with your favorite artists from Chalk the Block.

“This weekend celebrates our beautiful city,” said Amy Zapal, executive director, St. Joseph Today. “Not only can you see awesome chalk art around town, folks can shop at beautiful boutiques and stores, walk to Whirlpool Compass Fountain and downtown beaches, jam to live music or catch a movie outdoors by Lake Michigan.” Zapal said this long weekend also offers a good opportunity to view the city’s outdoor art exhibit “Fishing for Fun” that showcases friendly sharks and fish along downtown streets.