ChalkFest returns to Red River Zoo this week

FARGO -- A unique festival of creativity and art is making its way back to the Red River Zoo here for the sixth year in a row. ChalkFest is a celebration of musical and visual art that is hosted by The Arts Partnership (TAP). Since 2013, ChalkFes...

FARGO - A unique festival of creativity and art is making its way back to the Red River Zoo here for the sixth year in a row.

ChalkFest is a celebration of musical and visual art that is hosted by The Arts Partnership (TAP). Since 2013, ChalkFest has encouraged residents of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to express their inner artist through one simple medium, regardless of age or ability: chalk.

Over the course of the summer, TAP has teamed up with Gate City Bank to host a series of chalk drawings by several artists, including Britt Dalice, Tracy Melendez, Emily Brooks and Chelsea Odden, at Gate City locations across the community to drum up spirit for the annual event.

TAP Communications Coordinator Chelsey Ewen says the accessibility of ChalkFest is her favorite part of the event.

"Chalk is a universal medium that anyone can pick up and use," Ewen says. "Even if all you make is a stick figure, we celebrate it because in the process of drawing the head, the arms, the body, you're still activating something in your brain that can only be awakened by creativity."

From the moment someone walks into ChalkFest, they are immersed in a world of chalk, thanks to six local artists who have created murals at the entrance of the zoo. Once inside, free chalk is handed out to all participants, who are encouraged to find a spot on the pavement to create.

When it's time for a break, attendees can see the animals, listen to live music or visit arts groups at different booths.

"We hope anyone who attends ChalkFest walks out of the zoo with a sense of pride in what they create and a renewed sense of gratitude for the diverse and creative community we live in," Ewen says. "Even if they leave the event with a little more chalk on their clothes than when they arrived."

If you go

What: ChalkFest

When: noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9

Where: Red River Zoo, 4255 23rd Ave. S., Fargo

Info: www.theartspartnership.net/chalkfest