Saturday, January 27th was the Naples Chalk Art on 5th Avenue Sout street festival. This annual event organized by the Naples Rotary Club is free to the public and you can stroll amongst the professional and student artists who lay, crouch, stand on and tower over the Avenue as they turn it into a canvas.
Watch a short video from our visit here:
It was a beautiful day with warm, sunny weather and blue skies. We arrived downtown around 2:45 pm and the streets were bustling with people.
All of 5th Avenue South is shut down to motor traffic during the festival and the artwork is created right on the pavement. The works of art are typically sponsored by an organization, club, business or family and painted in chalk by students, local artists, volunteers, and employees.
The artists begin painting at 10 am, usually in teams of three or more, with some of the student teams seemingly up to 10 or 15 students. Many of the teams began by first painting the street but others jumped right in with their chalk paints to being creating their artworks. Some of the artists are professional artists who have done this many times, others may be doing it for their first time and amateur painters. Most teams worked using a grid system to map off the 10- x 10-foot or larger paintings and a printed graphic of how their desired final work would appear. The end results were incredible.
Amongst the artists are also several stands from local non-profit organizations and businesses, food stands, fun activities for kids and more. Nearly every chalk art creation is sponsored by a local business or organization. And of course, the many retail locations and restaurants along 5th are open and welcome everyone to come visit.
Visitors to the event can buy tickets which are used as votes for the contest. At the end of the day, the tickets are counted and one professional work and one student work is chosen for the popular vote and crowned the winner of the event.
This year, Seacrest Country Day School won the most popular vote for their Irma and Poseidon chalk art. It was quite incredible!
Want to Go?
Where: 5th Avenue South in downtown Naples, Florida. Fifth Avenue South is open only to pedestrian traffic from Tamiami Trail to 3rd Steet South during this event.
When: The Chalk Art Festival is held every year around the same time, which is usually in January. The weather is generally warm, sunny and gorgeous. You can visit the 5th Avenue South website or their Facebook page to get details about this and other future events.
Parking: There are two free parking garages near 5th Avenue South (located at 400 8th St S and 600 8th St S) as well as free street parking on several of the blocks surrounding 5th Avenue South. You may also be able to park at some schools and in other public parking lots in the area, but not at residential locations. Just look for posted signs and parking meters if you have any questions about whether parking is allowed or not. Several restaurants and hotels will also usually be offering valet parking if you prefer not to worry about parking or cannot walk very far.
I hope you enjoy viewing many of the works from the 2018 event below: