More than 100 help ‘chalk Elkton’s walks’
— 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
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.
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.
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.