Street Painting Gets a Fresh Coat

Locals test their concrete creativity at the Street Painting Festival.

The 2015 Street Painting Festival. Michael Davis photo

The Syracuse New Times and Family Times will present the annual Street Painting Festival on Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hands-on, illustrative event chalks up another unique activity as part of downtown’s Arts Week.

The family-friendly event simply requires registration and a bucket of chalk, which is provided or you can bring your own. Participants will hit the streets around City Hall on Montgomery Street to bring the area to its most colorful potential.

For youth (ages 12 and younger) and teens (13 to 17) the cost is $10. Adults (18 and older) pay $20. The cost raises $5 on Saturday (rain date is Sunday, July 31).


The 2015 Street Painting Festival. Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times

Here are a few Street Painting tips to be prepared: Don’t forget the sunscreen; knee pads will protect and keep those patellas padded; bring a spray bottle with water, because chalkboard erasers won’t work on pavement or hands; keep a towel or two handy to help with changing chalk colors; and aerosol hairspray will help seal the artwork and extend its lifespan.

The competition component is returning, with first- and second-place cash prizes being awarded to artists in adult ($150 and $75), teen ($75 and $50) and youth ($50 and $25) categories. Honorable mentions for each category and the People’s Choice winner will take home gift certificates to local businesses.

Other returning components include the Syracuse New Times paper box decorating contest. Registration is $25, and anyone 13 years or older can participate. The decorated boxes will pop up around the Central New York area, holding our free weekly papers.

This year’s resident artist Tommy Lincoln will be meandering around the festival. Lincoln, who is one of the city’s most active artists, will be painting a paper box using the historic Marriott Syracuse Downtown hotel as inspiration, which will sit on its premises.

T-shirts will also be available at the event and can currently be purchased at for $10. The heathered gray shirts feature an urban art appeal, designed by Greg Minix of our creative team.

In addition to the Street Painting’s obvious curb appeal, there will be more live entertainment. Enjoy the splashdowns of a dunk tank, while Wanderer’s Rest will bring four-legged friends for everyone to meet and hopefully adopt. Coco the Clown will paint your face when you’re taking a break or passing through. And Recess Coffee’s downtown location, 110 Montgomery St., is a chalk stick’s throw away, so cold brew coffee is easily accessible.

Click here for more information and to register. Keep the tradition and the fervor alive. Considering the recent talk and efforts to visually revamp Syracuse, including the discussion about the concrete wall behind the Museum of Science and Technology, who knows what next venture could spring from this year’s competition.

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