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Last year's chalk festival was 10 days. This year it will be six but will include additional street closures.
Sarasota Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013 6 years ago

Sarasota Chalk Festival to cover more ground in fewer days

by: Mallory Gnaegy A&E Editor

The 2013 Sarasota Chalk Festival will run from Nov. 13 through Nov. 18. Although the festival will be held in its regular place on Pineapple Avenue, this year it will span a larger portion the street for fewer days.

Last year, the festival took place on Pineapple Avenue from Dolphin Avenue to Selby Lane. This year, it will take place on Pineapple from Orange to First streets — with the largest portion of streets closed Saturday and Sunday.

Street closures begin the first day of the festival, Nov. 13, with a small portion of South Pineapple from Selby Lane to Laurel Street (about 400 feet) to allow space for the 3-D artists to work. Then, Thursday, Nov. 14, an additional closure on Pineapple between Oak Street and Dolphin Lane will take place for the professional street painters.

And, finally, the largest portion of street closures will take place for Saturday and Sunday’s events. Oak Street will be closed between South Pineapple and Palm Avenue. South Pineapple will be closed between Ringling Boulevard and Main Street. And North Pineapple Avenue will be closed between Main and First streets.  Roundabouts on Ringling Boulevard and Main Street will remain open for traffic throughout the festival.

This year, the Children’s Chalk Block portion of the festival will be located in Selby Five Points Park.
At six days, this year’s festival is four days shorter than last year’s festival. Denise Kowal, founder and chairwoman of the festival, says last year would have offered a similar timeline, but special accommodations were made for the celebrity talent, which consisted of Nik Wallenda and international 3-D chalk artist Kurt Werner, that extended the length of the festival.

In keeping with the theme, which is “Legacy of Valor,” 20 veterans from across the country will create a portion of chalk art. The veterans are already artists, however, they have never explored the chalk medium and will take a class with former Sarasota Chalk Festival artist Laurie Escalara to learn chalk-art techniques. Their artwork will be featured in an area of the festival located near a spot for reflection. The reflection area is a dedication to promote the Sarasota National Cemetery.

There will also be an outdoor dinner and event Saturday evening for 500 veterans and their family members.

Additional street closures aren’t the only plans for the festival's expansion. This year, Kowal promises more new-to-Sarasota international chalk artists. Last year, 50 international artists participated in the event that drew more than 200,000 visitors to Burns Court. 

Proposed Sarasota Chalk Festival road closures
Red lines – 2013 proposed Sarasota Chalk Festival road closures
Blue lines – 2012 Sarasota Chalk Festival road closures

View Proposed Chalk Festival Road Closures in a larger map

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