More than 100 help ‘chalk Elk­ton’s walks’

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— More than 100 peo­ple came out to draw col­or­ful pic­tures and pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tions on down­town side­walks for the town’s first Chalk The Walks event Tues­day.

The event is part of an an­nual na­tional move­ment, Chalk the Walks, cre­ated by the Joy Team, a Wash­ing­ton state non­profit that aims to spread in­spi­ra­tion and pos­i­tiv­ity, in 2011. Free chalk was of­fered in front of the Elk­ton Al­liance Inc. and the Ce­cil County Arts Coun­cil build­ings all day Tues­day.

Margie Bly­stone, chair­per­son of the Arts and En­ter­tain­ment Dis­trict, said she saw fam­i­lies such as grand­par­ents with their grand­chil­dren, chil­dren par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sum­mer pro­grams in the Depart­ment of Parks and Recre­ation and those from Ce­cil Col­lege and lo­cal busi­nesses. An­n­marie Hamil­ton, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the arts coun­cil, said she saw many adults help­ing to add to the im­promptu art.

“I think it’s a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity to get peo­ple to down­town, to in­still the fact that we are an arts and en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict,” Bly­stone said. “My hope is that peo­ple will meet their neigh­bors, and fam­i­lies will bond.”

Hamil­ton said she thinks the event is fun for peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in.

“I think it’s a great, fun thing for peo­ple to do,” she said.

Hamil­ton said it’s im­pres­sive that the draw­ings were near­ing to­ward South Street by mid­day.

Although the weather may not have been com­fort­able, it did not stop peo­ple from com­ing out.

Bly­stone said the weather “is what it is,” and she made a deal with the weather and kept her fin­gers crossed, as well.

“If you won’t make it rain, I won’t com­plain about the

ELK­TON

heat,” Bly­stone said.

Those par­tic­i­pat­ing saw the event as a way to beau­tify the town and spend time with their fam­i­lies.

“Well, I re­ally like art. I just al­ways have,” said Oskana Gomez, 18. “I like to be a part of the art scene.”

Gomez drew a large flower with the phrase, “Be ex­cel­lent to each other,” to re­mind peo­ple to be kind to each other.

“I think it’s a univer­sal quote that we all need to re­mem­ber,” she said.

Gomez said she liked the event be­cause it brought “unity to the town,” as well as makes beau­ti­fy­ing the down­town area with some color.

John Smith, who also goes by Lyri­cal Ma­gi­cian, said he drew three ab­stract de­signs in front of the arts coun­cil build­ing based on God, the cre­ation of man and him­self. He also wrote “Be good at what you do,” too.

He said he drew the pic­tures be­cause he wanted to give back to the com­mu­nity and thinks the event will be­come even more pop­u­lar in suc­ces­sive years.

“I think it’s go­ing to pros­per,” he said. “I think it’s go­ing to make Elk­ton more beau­ti­ful.”

Elk­ton res­i­dents Bill Ke­ley and his grand­daugh­ter Abby, 8, drew a few dif­fer­ent pic­tures. Bill said he and Abby came to the event be­cause he read it in the news­pa­per and told her they would check it out.

He said the event is “some­thing dif­fer­ent” and an­other event for him and his fam­ily to come to down­town to en­joy.

Ke­ley said he drew a mouse based on a 1960s car­toon and Abby said she drew a multi-color flower us­ing or­ange, red, blue and pur­ple chalk.

“They’re pretty,” Abby said about why she chose a flower.

She said she was think­ing about draw­ing more pic­tures, but was not sure what she was go­ing to draw.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Elk­ton res­i­dent Bill Ke­ley brought his grand­daugh­ter Abby, 8, to Elk­ton’s Chalk the Walks on Tues­day, where she drew a flower and he drew a car­toon mouse on North Street.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Oskana Gomez, 18, draws a large flower with “Be ex­cel­lent to each other,” in the mid­dle of it dur­ing Chalk The Walks in front of the Ce­cil County Arts Coun­cil build­ing on Tues­day.

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