Color spread through the downtown Casper sidewalks Saturday morning as hundreds of people started art pieces during the ninth annual Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival.
Artists of all ages decorated sidewalks in superheroes, cartoon and game characters, animals, flags, landscapes and flowers among the variety of subject matter that even ranged from the Casper Horseheads baseball team logo to an astronaut on the moon.
Organizer Angela Berry estimated about 600 participants this year.
“It’s definitely grown,” she said. “This is probably one of the biggest years; it’s the first time we’ve ever run out of everything.”
They ran out of 600 packages of chalk, and it’s the first year the free T-shirts for first 300 participants ran out in an hour, the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo marketing and promotions director explained. The T-shirts feature selected artwork from the previous festival, and a piece from this year will be printed on the shirts for next year’s festival, she added. The event is open to all skill levels, and participants range from little kids to professional artists, she said.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together and kick off the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo – ‘Stirrup some fun.’”
On the corner of David and Second streets, 8-year-old Silas Dike drew Captain America’s shield where there was already a circle in the cement. His grandfather Reed Barr drew some dotted lines to guide the rings and star inside.
Silas joined his dad and brothers, Brecken and Liam, in what’s become an annual tradition the past few years. Their grandparents watched them draw this year.
“Look, I did it all by myself, with just a little bit of help,” Silas told his dad when he finished the shield.
Daniel Dike brought a few printouts for ideas, which Brecken used for a spaceship drawing. He sketched both the spaceship and a carrot on paper before he started chalking the sidewalk.
The family left the corner in an array of drawings, including a Thor’s hammer Daniel finished.
“It’s really fun for them,” Barr said. “It lets their creative spirit go and they can draw in public without being tagged as taggers. “
Caitlyn Reed, 13, joined family Saturday on Center Street, where she created a large artwork inspired by Twenty One Pilots’ latest album, “Trench.” Her phone played the album while she looked at art online inspired by the band’s music videos.
Chalk covered her hands and clothes, to which she’d affixed strips of yellow tape like people wear in one video. She added yellow bands on a figure atop a hill and chalked a creature named Ned at the bottom of her drawing. She’s participated in the chalk art festival before, “but I didn’t really care about what I was doing,” Caitlyn said.
This year, though, she was inspired to splurge on chalk and pastels and created her largest chalk drawing yet.
“I’m not exactly sure, but I guess because over the past four weeks, I’ve grown more and more fond of the album.”
“Huber Family Reunion” read one patch of sidewalk where at least a dozen of the family’s members, ages 8 to 69, filled a corner Saturday morning near the America Theater. The festival was one of many activities for the gathering of relatives from several states, Ruby (Huber) Miller said.
The Casper native visiting from Lincoln, Nebraska, felt impressed by the talent in her family and wise words her 8-year-old granddaughter chalked in a drawing that read, “Be careful with your words, they can only B forgiven not forgotten.”
Creating and strolling to see what people made Saturday was a chance to spend time and bond together, she said.
“I think just like music or any other thing, the art brings people together.”