Hudson Valley Chalk Festival in downtown New Paltz

Artist Joel Yau at work (Hudson Valley Chalk Festival)

Artist Joel Yau at work (Hudson Valley Chalk Festival)

After a one-summer hiatus, the much-loved Hudson Valley Chalk Festival returns this weekend, transforming the asphalt of the upper parking lot of the Water Street Market in New Paltz into an eye-popping gallery of fabulous ephemeral art. Sketching out their designs on Friday, July 22 and putting on the finishing touches on Sunday, July 24, 23 top professional street painters from around the world, along with 17 highly talented local artists, will create an imaginative array of designs.

The most interesting way to take in the Chalk Festival is to stop in multiple times over the weekend to watch the diverse works-in-progress. You’ll see reproductions of Renaissance masterpieces, 20th-century pop-culture icons and contemporary photographic renderings of real people. Favorites are often the three-dimensional works that seem to break right through the pavement. The artists will be hard at work from 9 a.m. to dusk all three days (weather permitting).

While the Festival is in progress, you can enjoy live music on the lower level of the market and a great selection of food and beverage suppliers. A section of blacktop will be set aside and chalk provided for those who want to contribute their own creations; the “chalk car” will be back, and you and your kids are invited to deface it with impunity!


The Water Street Market is located at 10 Main Street in New Paltz, alongside the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. On-site parking is limited, so carpool if possible and be prepared to walk a few blocks – or come by bike on the trail. For more info, visit or