Chalkfest Returns to Maple Grove

by | May 2023

Chalkfest Public Mandala

Chalkfest Public Mandala. Photo: Max Haynes

Creativity spills off the page and on to the pavement at Arbor Lakes’ annual art festival.

Since 2016, a specific stretch of Maple Grove streets have erupted in a celebration of color, creativity and a bit of optical trickery over a stretch of two days during the summer. This year, on June 10 and 11, Chalkfest Maple Grove returns to Arbor Lakes for its eighth annual festival.

In the first few years of Chalkfest, most of the professional artists were brought in through invitation. “We also opened it up to local artists and amateurs and students,” artist and organizer Shawn McCann says. These days, there’s an application process open to amateurs and professionals from all over the world.

“One thing that I love about the festival is [that] we intermix the artists amongst everybody,” McCann says. “An amateur can be in between two professionals. And the professionals are always willing to answer questions and show them how to do something if they’re struggling with it. It’s great to have that camaraderie where you can see an amateur progress year after year.”

McCann says that a number of the amateur chalk artists have returned yearly to the festival. “We’ve had a few that have actually started traveling themselves now because of what they’ve learned from their chalkmates on the sidewalk next to them,” he says. “That’s been amazing.”

For more information on this year’s Chalkfest, visit


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