This weekend will bring the 19th annual chalk painting festival in Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo.

I Madonnari Chalk Painting - Rembrandt

This is a great and fun family event, especially for little kids. Local businesses sponsor large chalk paintings to be drawn on the pavement in front of Mission San Luis Obispo. These range from new works created just for this event to reproductions of famous old master paintings. Bring a camera- there are sure to be some that you want to photograph.

There is a special kids section, where for a small charge, there are small squares available for kids to create their own works. (You can buy inexpensive chalk kits there, or bring your own.) Kids love this.

The largest chalk painting is done in front of the steps to the Mission. This artist usually starts Friday afternoon, and then works on it all of Saturday and often most of Sunday. The other artists start early on Saturday morning, with many finishing by early afternoon, though others are working till late Saturday afternoon.

I Madonnari - Mandoline Player

Housekeeping details: It is fun to see the artists start early in the morning, even though nothing is completed. So see this, stroll thru town, have lunch, go by to see the works created, go back into town, and then stroll through again in later afternoon, when most are done. The chalk will loses some of the detail after a while, so it is best to see the paintings soon after they are done. Typically the paintings are erased Sunday night or Monday morning, and then they are gone forever. The money raised goes to Children's art programs.