ChalkFest Makes For A Colorful Day At The River Common

September 30, 2018
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ChalkFest Makes For A Colorful Day At The River Common

WILKES-BARRE — The River Common provided the canvas and the Riverfront Parks Committee provided the palette for Laurie Lisman and her granddaughters Saturday.

Sophia Texeira, 3, and Mia Texeira, 5, drew themselves and their sisters. Camryn Dieter, 10, drew scenes from nature. Lisman worked on an angel.

“I started to do it and Sophia was helping me, so it came out a little different than I planned,” Lisman said with a laugh.

Their artwork joined hundreds of other drawings at the ninth annual ChalkFest.

This year’s event included an attempt to break the world record for longest chalk drawing by stitching together square after square along the River Common. Organizers will document the effort and send it to the Guinness Book of World Records to see if it breaks the record, currently held by Greeley, Colo. for an 18,760 feet, 11 inch-long display.

Visitors got free chalk to add their own drawings to the effort.

Among the drawing were animals like a blue heron, elephant, unicorn and sea turtle, displays from local businesses, and a LeBron James jersey, now in Lakers yellow.

Various booths offered a chance to explore environmental education topics or to register to vote in time to cast a ballot in the general election in November.

After organizing the event for almost a decade, members of the Riverfront Parks Committee thought the expansion would be a good way to invite more people to join in.

“It’s been highly successful where we were,” executive director John Maday said. “As we were kicking around ideas for changing things a bit, we thought, ‘Why don’t we see if we can cover the entire area along the river, and see what happens?’”

The River Common was Ray Hall’s destination Saturday, and it’s a place he frequently visits with his great-great-nephew.

He uses a wheelchair, so the large paved surface and ramps make it easy to move around, and he visits a few times a week in the summer. His great-great nephew rides on the front of his motorized wheelchair.

He was on his own Saturday, enjoying the art. A lifelike portrait of a woman and a large depiction of the American flag stood out.

“Even if they don’t the break record, it’s something good for the community, to get together,” he said.

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570-821-2051, @CVBillW

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