Chalk Festival

The 2018 Palatka Chalk Explosion is free and open to the public, features 4 professional featured chalk artists, a free street chalking competition with prize money, and provides chalk for kids and adults to help decorate the street in Downtown Palatka. The Arts Council of Greater Palatka’s 5th annual Chalk Explosion will be held Saturday September 29th, on the 300 block of St. Johns Avenue. Competition artists check in from 8AM to 10AM. Artwork will be judged and awarded cash prizes at 5:00 P.M.. Following the awards at 6:30PM there will be a street party in partnership with Revitalize Historic Palatka. Keith Godwin & Rio Grande Band will be performing for the evening Street party held at 3rd Street and St. Johns Avenue. We encourage all our visitors to patronize the local Downtown shops and eateries during the Chalk Explosion. So get those applications in for some fun chalking during the Annual St. Johns River Bartram Frolic.

Visiting artist are encouraged to spend the weekend and enjoy the many activities planned for the Annual Bartram Frolic on the St. Johns River.  The chalk competition is free to enter and chalk pastels are provided. There will be a youth contest for ages 12 to 16 and an adult contest for ages 17 and up. No prior experience in art is required to enter and the Arts Council is currently accepting pre-registration on a first come, first serve basis. Information to sign up can be found at, at the Larimer Arts Center, and at   Chalk will also be provided to anybody of any age who would like to participate non-competitively. The Palatka Chalk Explosion is a member of the Florida Chalk Artists Association This year we are combining the event with the Annual St. Johns River Bartram Frolic which will have many events throughout the weekend on the Palatka Riverfront. So for that reason we are making the theme for this year’s Palatka Chalk Explosion Visions of Bartram and Putnam County.

The Arts Council encourages non-artist, beginners, and youth to also enter the competition. “Vibrant chalk pastels will be provided to contestants to express themselves in their own unique way. Compositions must be non-political in nature, family friendly, and not negatively attack any group. A rough sketch of the proposed competition drawing must be provided before check-in.

A major highlight of the event is four professional street painters who will create masterpieces throughout the day as visitors watch the works come to life  Information coming soon on our guest Professional Chalk artists. They are Nancy Naulty, Tim Ritter, Beth Shistle and Chad Wallace. Visitors are invited to come throughout the day and watch the outdoor street gallery unfold. Executive Director Denise Aiken said the event encompasses a large portion of the Arts Council’s mission in bringing cultural activities out to the public in an accessible forum. Not only can visitors enjoy the art, but they also have the opportunity take part in its creation.

Some of our major sponsors are the Putnam County Tourist Development Council Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc., Michael Gagnon, Palatka Daily News and Got SCHWAG? Promotional Marketing, LLC.  A full list of sponsors will be forthcoming. We still need sponsors so please feel free to contact us at or call 386-328-8998

The Arts Council of Greater Palatka is the designated Local Arts Agency for Putnam County and continues to provide many cultural programs that are free and open to the public.  With the support of local businesses, corporations and individuals the Arts Council of Greater Palatka can continue to be a leading advocate of the arts through music, art classes, and exhibitions and much more.  Events such as the Palatka Chalk Explosion bring in professional artists and families to the area, which strengthens the vitality and commerce of Palatka.

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216 Reid Street
Palatka, Florida
(386) 328-8998

Arts Council of Greater Palatka
P.O. Box 936
Palatka, FL 32178