This weekend was the 28th annual Chalk It Up! at Fremont Park in Sacramento. Each Labor Day weekend, hundreds of artists invest a lot of chalk, sweat and creativity into a square on the sidewalk. Most of the mini murals have various sponsors. One artist drawing cartoon characters on the sidewalk also signed up for a double square for a dental group. He was going to draw Austin Powers with his goofy teeth before and after dental work.
People create art with a message or just for the beauty of it. There is also food, crafts and other vendors along the middle walkways. There are also many restaurants within a block of the park including Starbucks, Hot Italian, Magpie Cafe, and others. It can be a challenge to find parking, so consider riding one of the region’s red Jump bikes or walking to 15th and P from anywhere downtown.
There is a kids zone for them to draw with chalk., plus a playground in the park.
Chalk It Up promotes and supports Youth Arts by offering small grants to K-12 classrooms, and youth arts organizations throughout the Sacramento region. We do this in large part with our annual Chalk It Up! Festival which encourages artistic expression of all kinds through a three day celebration of chalk art, live music, and regional food and craft vendors.
We were not sure what to expect. I signed up for The Urban Bike Adventure via Amazon Local and only received a ticket. The website was equally vague. Honestly I had forgotten that I bought the tickets some months ago, and then it popped up on my calendar. I recruited my friend Alison and team “Sactown Friends” was ready to go.
The Urban Bike Adventure (TUBA) team made full use of social media. We received text message updates; advance clues were provided via Twitter and Instagram, and they encouraged people to bring a computer or digital camera (practically speaking: a smart phone will do). Bike helmets are required so Alison purchased hers just the day before and forgot to take off the tag. We decided it added to her look! We arrived at the pizza place Hot Italian at 16th and O Streets in Sacramento about 11:30 a.m. We registered and we were none the wiser about what to expect. We sized up the crowd and felt reassured that this event did not require one to be a Serious Cyclist.
We got our Clue Sheet at noon and interpreted the instructions to “be sure to read all of the clues and directions carefully” as permission to solve the clues and plan our route for fastest time. We had a great time and it reminded us of a Young Life event.
Everyone in the team has to be in the photos so it forced us to ask for help from other teams and strangers. The clues took us to Old Sacramento and Land Park and I learned Sacramento is very busy on the weekend!
We had to recruit a stranger to sing for us as we did background moves (I promised Alison the video would not end up on YouTube!). We probably bicycled about 15 miles over the 2:09 it took us to complete the tasks. We did not expect to be competing for a top prize and yet we were among the top 20 teams!
I also learned that there is a Funderland next to the zoo and Fairytale Town. How did I escape going there with my children?
Here is a sample clue: “Sacramento is also nicknamed “The Big Tomato” for its role in the tomato canning industry. Find a tomato and take a team picture with it.”
The event takes place around the country and $2 of every entry goes to the Wounded Warriors nonprofit.
We definitely recommend this event for friends, families or co-workers who want to team build. We are looking forward to next year.