BOUNTIFUL - The city’s Main Street is about to blossom, whether or not Mother Nature agrees with it.
This year’s “Magic on the Sidewalk” chalk art festival, sponsored by the Joy Foundation, is getting ready to fill Main Street’s sidewalks with color. Running May 14-17, the festival will feature the work of nearly 100 local artists of all ages and skill levels.
“They’re really thrilled,” said Jane Joy of the artists. “They’re just so dedicated. We’re really hoping the weather works with us this year, but it will happen no matter what.”
The artists are all assigned a certain patch of sidewalk, and have from Thursday to Saturday morning to create anything from sea creatures to superheroes across their available space. Visitors can get a first-hand look at artists at work, and many of the artists welcome questions.
Since the art can be washed away by rain, many artists bring plastic they can use to cover their work until the sun comes back out.
“Even though it rained last year, we had some of the best art we’ve ever had,” said Joy.
Still, sunny weather will certainly have its advantages.
Though the festival technically ends Saturday, many local families take the opportunity on the following Sunday to stroll through the impromptu outdoor gallery.
“I really hope we get the Sunday walk this year,” said Joy. “It’s my favorite part.”
This year’s featured artist, Alex Platt, was one of the big winners at last year’s chalk festival. As with featured artists in previous years, Platt’s work will be positioned prominently in front of the post office.
“We don’t know what he’ll do - it’ll be a surprise,” said . “But I promise you it will be beautiful.”
As the festival expands, that beauty is getting harder to maintain. The non-profit stretches their already very tight budget in order to organize the festival for the residents of Bountiful.
“Hopefully everyone will come and enjoy themselves, and maybe throw a few bucks in the donation jar,” said Joy. “We’re going to count on the community to support us and keep us going.”
And the Joy Foundation, a host of volunteers, and hundreds of artists will keep giving the community the gift of a street full of art.
“A woman pulled me aside in the grocery store the other day and said ‘the chalk art just makes Bountiful sparkle,’” said Joy. “From grandparents to toddlers, everyone enjoys the festival.”