Attention local artists: This weekend, chalk is your medium and the concrete is your canvas.
Sacramento's Chalk It Up festival returns to Fremont Park, Saturday through Monday, to add some color to the concrete. The festival once again will feature live music, a beer garden, food and, of course, colorful chalk art on the sidewalk squares surrounding the park.
"It's more of the same festival that people love, only better," Chalk It Up executive director Jerry Perry said of the festival, now in its 22nd year.
Perry, a Sacramento music promoter, is responsible for booking the festival's entertainment, which this year includes performances by 31 musical acts. Crossroads, a band of young musicians who won Skip's Music's 2012 Stairway to Stardom program, will start things off Saturday morning.
Many established Sacramento acts will perform as well. Teenage punk-rock sister act Dog Party will appear Saturday. Electropoetic Coffee, the jazzy collaboration between guitarist Ross Hammond and poet and singer NSAA, will perform Sunday. Popular jam band ZuhG and folk-pop outfit Musical Charis will appear Monday.
"I try to book all sorts of different music while still maintaining the flow of an outdoor music festival," Perry said. "It's mostly just good, uptempo music."
The music accompanies the festival's focus on chalk artwork. Most of the art is created by experienced artists who volunteer their talents to create chalk depictions based on a particular square's sponsor. Sponsors pay $150 for a single square or $250 for a double square, along the park's perimeter.
Those who are inspired to contribute their own masterpiece can head to the chalk booth to purchase a box of artists chalk and their own personal square, in the park's interior, for $10.
Proceeds go toward art education for local children. The Chalk It Up nonprofit has contributed $60,000 to youth art education programs over the years, Chalk It Up President Alan Dismuke said.
"We help support these programs because arts education is usually the first thing to go when schools need to tighten budgets," Dismuke said.
If decorating an entire square seems too ambitious, attendees can contribute to community squares, which are free and open to the public.
The festival offers activities for children beyond drawing with chalk, through its Kids Create a Zone workshops. The workshops range from morning yoga sessions to an introduction to digital photography.
Local food vendors, such as Wicked 'Wich food truck and Little Rich's Italian Ice, will be present throughout the long Labor Day weekend. Festivalgoers 21 and older can grab a drink in the park's beer garden.
Organizers expect 30,000 people to come to the park during the event's three days.
"It's the kind of event where you can go with the whole family and seriously be there for several hours while staying engaged," Perry said. "Plus it's free that's family-priced right there."
CHALK IT UP FESTIVAL
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday through Monday
Where: Fremont Park, 16th and P streets, Sacramento
Cost: Free for visitors, $10 for chalk and a square of sidewalk for artists