Highland News Leader

Be sure to pencil in a stop at chalk art festival in Highland

The Highland Chamber of Commerce will present its annual Street Art Festival and Art Expo on Saturday, Sept. 10 on the Square. Artists will create masterpieces with chalk, using the streets as their canvass.
The Highland Chamber of Commerce will present its annual Street Art Festival and Art Expo on Saturday, Sept. 10 on the Square. Artists will create masterpieces with chalk, using the streets as their canvass. News Leader

Downtown Highland will be a kaleidoscope of color Saturday. From people running in the streets to the streets themselves to what fills your glass, it will all be awash from every spectrum of the rainbow as the Highland Chamber of Commerce presents the 14th annual Street Art Festival and Art Expo.

It all begins at 8 a.m., when talented artists will begin to transform the streets around the downtown Highland Square into amazing works for art. Artists compete in four categories: professional, amateur, college and high school. They are given until 5 p.m. to complete their art work, at which time the three judges will begin the process of rating each piece of art. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. and given their cash prizes. The public is invited to come and watch as the artists transform the pavement into a temporary art gallery, creating colorful masterpieces of amazing depth and complexity — with chalk!

Run for Color

At 4 p.m., the “Run for Color” run/walk will take off. This family-friendly event is the first of its kind in Highland.

Participants will line up near It’s Party Time, on the northeast corner of the Square, to begin the two-mile excursion. Along the route, participants will have color tossed on them at predesignated areas. The color is non-toxic and safe for adults and children alike. Participants that want less color on them can move toward the middle “lane” through the designated color stations.

The run/walk will also end on the Square with a “color explosion” picture once all the participants have crossed the finish line. Registration forms can be picked up in the lobby at the Chamber office, or you can register the day of the event at the information table.

Hops and Color Beer Tasting

The Highland Jaycees are partnering with the Highland Chamber of Commerce to host the inaugural Hops and Color Beer Tasting. Participants can purchase a tasting card and a complimentary glass for $20 in advance or $25 the day of the festival. Participants will then be able to enjoy sampling from the 15 unique beers from sponsor Koerner Distributing.

There will also be a small home brew competition for “fan favorite,” which will be chosen at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The Hops and Color Beer Tasting will open Friday, Sept. 9 from 7 to 10 p.m., and pick up again Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Art Expo

As in years past, there will still be the Art Expo, sponsored by the Highland Arts Council. This expo features the work of a number of area artists. Fine artwork in many mediums such as painting, jewelry, clay and literature will be on display and available for purchase.

Bags Tournament

There will be a bags tournament during the festival, open to anyone who wants to have fun. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Teams of two can participate for $25.

The first bag in this double-elimination tournament will be thrown at noon on the south side of the Square. The top three teams at the end of the tournament will win cash prizes. Cash prize amount will be determined by the number of teams playing.

Children’s Activities

If you have little ones, up to age 12, bring them past the Kreative Kids Korner, sponsored/hosted by the Highland Illinois Federation of Business Women (formerly BPW) club. Here, budding young artists can create chalk treasures on sidewalks around the Square, or create special art projects such as a crazy bird, a plane, and a fire-breathing dragon. For a small donation, you can wear you kids out in the bounce house. There will also be a giant wooden puzzle, tic-tac-toe, and giant blocks to entertain them.


A DJ will play during the day, and the dueling piano act Off the Cuff will perform from 6 to 10 p.m.

Street Art Festival At A Glance

Where: Downtown Square in Highland

When: Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Stands open: Food and beverage stands open and activities begin at 11 a.m.

Chalk Art: Artists will work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with awards at 7 p.m.

Run for Color: Two-mile fun run/walk departs the Square at 4 p.m., and also ends at the Square

Bags Tournament: Registration starts at 11 a.m., tournament kicks off at noon

Beer Tasting: The Highland Jaycees Hops and Color Beer Tasting will be from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10

Proceeds: Funds raised from this year’s event will go toward the chamber’s many community projects, including the Christmas Houses, Lights on the Square, and Santa’s visits to Highland, as well as many other projects though out the year.

For more information: Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (618) 654-3721, email nancie@highlandillinois.com or on the web at highlandartscouncil.org.