Hudson Valley Chalk Festival to return in New Paltz

Last year’s artwork by Joel Yau. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Last year’s artwork by Joel Yau. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

When it returns on July 18-20, expect the Hudson Valley Chalk Festival 2014 to be better than ever, organizers said. Based in New Paltz’s Water Street Market, Chalk Fest will feature 21 top chalk artists — along with more than 14 local artists. “It’s pretty big. We have a lot more artists coming this year,” organizer Amanda Lipstein said.

“This year, we’ll have live music again. We’ll have free face painting during the weekend. We’re going to have the ChalkCar there. It’s the one that’s covered in chalkboard paint. That’ll be there for the full festival,” Lipstein said.


There will also be a puppet show, raffles and plenty to do. One thing that will be new this year is the partnership with the charity Arrive.

Arrive helps Kenyan street kids and orphans find a home, get them schooled, feed them and keep them away from addiction.

“They’re going to be there providing information. Water Street Market gave a donation to their charity. We also have five of the professional artists who are going to be chalking images of the children in Kenya,” Lipstein said. “It’s raising awareness for street children through street art.”

Music will include performances by Nina Mars, Shep & The Coconuts, Me and My Ex and others.

Chalk art is unique because it takes place outdoors and in public. People get to watch the artists work and interact with them. And Chalk Fest also takes place over the course of three days, giving people a chance to stroll and stop by as they please.

Light rain won’t end Chalk Fest. Artists will (and have in previous years) cover up their work with plastic tarps. Heavy rain will mean the event moves inside.

Organizers noted that 2014, the festival’s third anniversary, is a “make or break” year for Chalk Fest. While it’s been a popular event that grows every year, it is free to the public and relies on sponsorships and donations.

“We do cover all the costs associated with bringing all the artists in,” Lipstein said. “Everything goes back into the event.”

Donation boxes will be out at the festival. Raffle ticket sales also support the event. And local businesses can still sponsor Chalk Fest artists — or the event itself — by heading to their website.

“It’s been pretty well received by the community,” Lipstein said. “We’d like to keep holding it … It’s such a great event.”

People who’d like to attend should, but who are left scratching their heads looking for a parking spot should check out the Chalk Fest parking map.

Learn more at or get breaking news announcements about weather at Chalk Fest’s Twitter and Facebook pages.