Artist works on chalk art of a squirrel
Artist Phillip Bernal creates a realistic squirrel with chalk as his medium at Littleton's Walk the Chalk event. Credit: Kelsey Riley / Special to Colorado Community Media

Downtown Littleton exploded with color the second weekend of September, as artists from across the state decorated the sidewalks of Main Street with chalk.

It was Littleton’s first Walk the Chalk Festival, organized by a group of downtown merchants working together in a grassroots approach to create fun, family-friendly events in the area.

Kelsey Riley, who owns ElseWear Collective on South Prince Street, was the lead creator of the event.

“We’re trying to really make downtown another destination place … that has activities and events that are family-friendly, that everyone can attend, and a variety of them,” she said.

The chalk festival was the first event put on by the new merchant group. Riley said the group plans to host other activities downtown through the end of the year and into the future.

Over 20 artists participated in the chalk festival, using about four blocks of downtown sidewalk as their canvases, Riley said.

Many local business owners contributed to the event by donating special discounts to the artists.

“It is a community kind of thing,” she said. “Even the restaurants and the food and (beverage) places were also in on it and contributing and part of the event.”

Riley said the event was a success and her group is already making plans for the second downtown Littleton chalk art festival next year.

“The highlight was everyone coming up and saying how much they appreciated everything,” she said. “This was such a neat thing that they got to witness, that they got to see, that they got to be a part of.”

Many of the chalk artists are already planning to participate in the event again next year, Riley said.

The second annual festival will also include a competition for kids who want to make chalk art. This year, they were able to create, but there were no prizes like there were for the adult artists.

“I think it’s only gonna grow,” Riley said. “I’m really excited about the second annual (festival) next year.”

Riley thanked the Reinke Brothers, the Littleton Downtown Development Authority and the Littleton Merchant’s Association for their support of the event.