Downtown Oshkosh Chalk Walk 2016


Sidewalk art hits the streets in living color with the return of the Downtown Oshkosh Chalk Walk on Sat., Sept. 10. This is the third year for the event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. around Opera House Square. The Downtown Oshkosh Chalk Walk is presented by the Downtown Oshkosh BID Marketing Consortium.

Artists will begin drawing at 8 a.m. and continue working throughout the day.  They have the option to draw directly on the sidewalk or on large boards.  “This is a great opportunity to watch art happen,” says Kyla Morris, owner of Backlot Comedy House and one of the event organizers.  “It’s really cool to see these drawings go from a basic outline on the sidewalk in the morning to a full color work of art a few hours later.”

Adding to the festivities, there will be live music and local restaurants will have food stands in the Square throughout the day. There will be balloon animals, face painting and other activities for the kids. In the Kids’ Chalk Area, sponsored by the Oshkosh Public Library, kids can create their own art on the sidewalks around the sundial and become “part of the art” with some fun photo opportunities.

There will be prizes awarded for Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice in both youth (ages 12-17) and adult categories. The public can vote for their favorites until 5:30 p.m. Winners will be announced once all the votes are counted.

Artists from around the region, as well as community members of all skill levels, are invited to participate in the Downtown Oshkosh Chalk Walk. “Over the past two years our participants have run the gamut from professional artists to school-aged kids who are getting their first chance to take part in this kind of public art event,” says Carrie Olson, co-owner of 920 Tattoo and one of the event organizers.

Artists have until Aug. 31 to register for the Chalk Walk. Registration fee is $35 to draw on the sidewalk and $50 to draw on a board. Artists receive a pack of 48 chalk pastels, latex gloves and a sponge for blending. Register at

“Anyone who comes downtown on Sept. 10 can really make a day of it,” says Karlene Leatherman, Executive Director of the Oshkosh Farmers Markets and a Chalk Walk committee member. “See the artists start their work and shop the market in the morning; then have lunch in the Square or at one of the downtown restaurants. Do some shopping and come back to the Square later to see the finished art and vote for your favorites.”

Keep up with the latest news about the Downtown Oshkosh Chalk Walk at and on Facebook at


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Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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