ChalkFest this weekend to include launch of Project Scare-a-Crow in Springfield

Art doesn’t have to hang on a wall, sit on a pedestal or in an installation to be creative and unique. That’s where ChalkFest stands out in that anybody can become an artist just with a simple, colorful schoolyard recess standby and a sidewalk.

Add in a seasonal display of scarecrows created by families and businesses and you have two community celebrations welcoming the autumn season in one.

The fifth ChalkFest is fun for all ages, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at National Road Commons Park, 50 W. Main St. It will include the launch of Project Scare-a-Crow.

The event is a presented by Project Jericho and National Trail Parks and Recreation. Admission is free; participation in the event costs a separate fee.

Project Jericho director Lo Houser can’t believe this is the fifth ChalkFest already – counting a year off in 2020 – and how it’s grown.

“When we dreamt this up, we saw it as a family-friendly event where all ages could create art with a chance to celebrate with a day of visual and performing arts in the park,” she said. “It’s good to be back.”

While still consistent with its origins, Houser said event organizers have listened to community feedback to improve it even more. This year will include four themed categories entrants can choose: ages 12-under; family game night theme; spooky season theme; and pop culture.

The competition is open to individuals or groups, and check-in for artists will begin at 9 a.m. The works will be judged by community leaders.

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The entry fee is $25. The registration form is available at

Another new feature will be a people’s choice award in which attendees and competitors can vote for their favorite chalk art works, either through a QR code link at the festival on their phones or on a paper ballot on the sight.

Celebrity Dayton artist Blue, a fixture at past ChalkFests, will return. Houser called him a part of the Project Jericho family along with several other artists. Adding to the atmosphere will be live music from Adelee and Gentry, who have also played at previous events.

Project Scare-a-Crow has been a downtown fixture for several years and a natural complement to ChalkFest. It will display the efforts of seven Project Jericho families and seven community organizations who took the family game night theme to create their scarecrows.

Houser said attendees will find recognizable tabletop game favorites including “Uno,” “Operation,” “Don’t Break the Ice,” “Ants in the Pants” and others.

The scarecrows will be installed on Thursday, and the public can vote for its favorites beginning Saturday and will run through Oct. 28, either by paper ballot on the sight or online.

Also going on 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday is Art SoFo in the 700-900 block of South Fountain Ave. not far from ChalkFest. All organizations involved are hoping the community will support both events by visiting them.

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“We welcome young artists and hope they will make this a family tradition and have great memories of coming to enjoy the talented people of our community,” said Houser.

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

ChalkFest and Project Scare-a-Crow are a collaboration between Project Jericho and National Trail Parks and Recreation District and are additionally supported by Partners for the Park, Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital, Greater Springfield Partnership, Turner Foundation and Clark County TCC.


What: ChalkFest

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

When: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Admission: Free

More info:

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