Lake Worth offers one of 'world's top chalk art festivals'

The Beatles relive their "Abbey Road" stroll along the crosswalk. Snarling aliens crawl out of a hole in the street. A painting, rich in color, melts off a cliff, dripping deeply into the earth.

Take a walk through downtown Lake Worth next weekend, and watch the streets come alive at the fingertips of some of the country's most talented sidewalk artists.

The Lake Worth Street Painting Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary from Feb. 22-23, welcoming more than 600 artists from around the United States to transform the pavement into a giant canvas. The artists — ranging from middle-schoolers to retired seniors, from novices to veterans of the chalk — will create 250 drawings, supported by 150 volunteers, said Lake Worth artist Maryanne Webber, festival co-founder, chairwoman and artist coordinator.

And they'll go through 2,000 pounds of chalk using an artform dating back to the 16th century.


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Organized in part by the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, the event is free to the public, and supplemented by strolling minstrels, sidewalk performers, main-stage musical entertainment and a festival food court. According to CNN, it's not to be missed.

In September, the cable network CNN listed the Lake Worth event among "the world's top chalk art festivals," saying it's "known as an incubator for emerging artists and a showcase for outstanding local artists."

If you go, you'll have company. Festival organizers expect 100,000 people to attend.

If you go

What: Lake Worth Street Painting Festival's 20th anniversary event

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 22-23

Where: Downtown Lake Worth, between Federal Highway and H Street, and between First Avenue South and Second Avenue North

Cost: Entry, participation and parking are free

Info: streetpaintingfestivalinc.org