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For the last week or so I have heard people talking about where they were going on their Labor day weekend whether it was catching the man burn in Black Rock City, taking the boat out in Tahoe, or laying low to BBQ with some friends. They were all great ideas with memories to be made, but I sat back thinking to myself… “They have no idea what is happening at Fremont Park this weekend it‘s CHALK IT UP! ”.

CHALK IT UP! is a nonprofit organization created to benefit children’s arts education and art activities. Every year since 1999, Fremont Park has become the host to a Labor Day weekend event called CHALK IT UP! that sponsors grants and scholarships for all youth art programs since 1991.  CHALK IT UP!  changes the way we view art with some sidewalk, some chalk, and some talented artists. Every year the art work is never the same.  The event features over 200 sidewalk squares to be created at the festival by local artists of all ages who donate their time and artistic abilities to support Children’s Art Education.

Fremont Park is located off of 16th street and Q street surrounded by great restaurants like Burgers & Brews, R15, Café Bernardo, Nishiki Sushi, and Hot Italian.  Also, the Naked Lounge is a great local coffee shop that is located on the corner and has outdoor seating.  The park was filled with some great food trucks like Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen & Wicked ‘Wich and great drinks to wash it down in the Beer Garden which also served Mimosa’s, Sangria, and wine.

(side note: half way through the morning I went down to THE REPUBLIC at 980 15th St. in Sacramento, and ordered some food off of the Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen menu. As I walked in I noticed this place should be a fun time. I played some Donkey Kong and the original Punch Out I figured I might as well eat… so I ordered the Hemi, Chicken & waffles, and Tater tots. Pretty darn good!  Also, THE REPUBLIC is now serving Brunch on Sundays!!!)

After I fueled up, I decided to take the stroll around the park where I found people of all ages working to complete their masterpieces as the sun and random strangers beamed down upon them. Some of the artist had an idea of what to draw from a local business card, iconic image or a photo of a child and a walrus. The way people can take a stick of chalk and some water and make a sidewalk look like a piece of canvas in a museum is just simply Amazing!
I kept on moving from one side of the park to the other listening to the different musicians playing on stage. As I walked around the middle of the art festival to see the clothing and jewelry venders; I saw some children coloring on the sidewalk. Their faces covered with face paint and chalk. This was one of those memories I can’t forget.  As I started to walk back though the park to go home, I had to pause to take a moment while watching the kids play in the water fountain – I realized this was where it was at. A community of friends and families, artists and musicians coming together for a wonderful annual event.
It is truly amazing what happens when you mix music, chalk, and people together to support Children’s Art Education, so mark your calendars for next year’s Labor Day weekend and go ahead step outside and CHALK IT UP! on your own.

Photos by Naomi G Lucchesi

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