I just happened to be in Florida with my wife visiting her dad (he’s a Canadian snowbird) when we heard about this festival. After seeing images of 3D chalk art on the internet it’s always been something I’ve wanted to see in person, so I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. The International Chalk Festival is an annual event in its 11th year. In 2010, when it was still held in nearby Sarasota, it became the US’s first international street painting festival. It moved to Venice in 2014.
Today, the festival attracts over 200 artists from around the world, from top-tier professionals to amateur hobbyists. Each year is a different theme and this year it was “Evanescent: The art may be fleeting but the memories will last a lifetime.” It was interesting looking at the dozens of pieces and seeing how each artist/team interpreted the theme. The artists are actually creating their pieces during the four-day festival, so you can literally watch them progress as the days go on. While the 3D art tends to be the most crowd-pleasing (you can pose in the art for some fantastic illusions), all of it is beautiful (see photos below).
2018’s festival is happening November 9-12. The theme will be “Garden of Wonders: A tribute to the marvels of the natural world and the human imagination.” Tickets are $25 per adult for the full 4-day unlimited pass (children under 12 are free). Day passes go like this:
ONLY Veterans, active service members, and students are FREE
Besides the chalk art, there is live music, a large covered seating area, food trucks, drinks (of the alcoholic variety as well), and vendors selling crafts and other products. There are NO PETS ALLOWED, so leave the furballs at home. The festival is a 501c3 non-profit and all proceeds go to the costs of putting the festival on and supporting the artists.