Bloom N Chalkfest in Safety Harbor

Bloom N Chalkfest Brings Art
to the Streets This Weekend

March 16-17
Downtown Safety Harbor
Details here

Traditions are cherished in Safety Harbor and one of the most popular is the Bloom N Chalkfest set for this weekend, March 16 and 17.

Artists will begin working Saturday morning around 9 am, and the public is welcome to stay and watch as sidewalks along Main Street, predominately between the 500 to 700 blocks, come alive with beautiful, vibrant imagery.

On Sunday, the annual Kiwanis Arts & Craft Show will piggyback the event with vendors lining the first four blocks of Main Street. Parking is free along side streets throughout the downtown corridor.

Chalkfest is a beloved annual event for residents and visitors alike but the artform didn’t originate in Safety Harbor. Its history dates to the 16th century in Italy when artists would create temporary art during religious festivals. Their art depicted religious themes using chalk and charcoal, which would all be swept or washed away by rain after the event.

“The first was in 2009,” says Bobbie Wheeler, Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History board president and co-founder of the event. “We average anywhere from 40 and have had as many as 90 artists. It’s normal for us to have 50 to 60.”

Wheeler and her friend and co-founder Stacy Roth fly artists in from at least ten different states. “California, Minnesota, West Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan.” Wheeler laughs. “I can’t even think of them all, but there are a lot.”

photos courtesy of Bloom N Chalkfest

Celebrating Professionals
and Encouraging Young Artists


With this being their 14th event, Wheeler has seen artists develop from a first-timer to a professional. “I’m excited that we’re starting to see another generation of artists. More and more are trying this medium and many seek us out.

“We have a student artist in the professional section this year,” Wheeler says. “She is 17 and has been chalking since 14. She’s already an award-winning artist and this year is her first time with us.

“I think both Stacy and I feel it’s the perfect platform for the city to showcase itself, for the community to interact, to see what artists are able to do.”

Kids will have plenty of sidewalk space near the gazebo in John Wilson Park and chalk will be provided.

“I like watching the kids grow up through it. They start in our chalk garden then middle school – and when their art has really improved to the point of mentoring them through a professional, they get their own square in the student section or alongside the professionals.”

Safety Harbor’s Community
– A Welcoming Bonus


The event is free to the public but it’s the Safety Harbor Museum’s biggest annual fundraiser through beer and wine sales, ticket sales for casting votes for your favorite artwork, and event T-shirt sales.

“My favorite part is how much the artists fall in love with Florida,” Wheeler says. “We are so friendly. Some actually moved to the area, after they came for Chalkfest. One lives in Tampa, one in Holiday, one in St. Pete.

“It’s a good representation of the city. They really embrace the artists.”

Approximately 60 volunteers will help to make it all run smoothly. Artists will stay in homes throughout the small town, and several volunteers will head to the airport to pick up artists from other states.

Local restaurants and businesses will donate meals, and tens of other volunteers will work to make the event enjoyable throughout the weekend.

Working with Themes


This year’s themes are – Under the Sea, Wild Things, Blooming Things and Most Likely to Hang in a Museum. A fun awards show will be held at the gazebo on Sunday at 4 pm.

“We don’t do an overall first, second or third place award. We give the artists several themes they can choose from but it’s not a requirement. It’s all about the eye of the beholder.

“The artists always have fun with it,” Wheeler adds. “I think one year we had one artist who did all four categories.”

Wheeler hopes for two things – fair weather and visitor enthusiasm. “This is one venue where artists love talking to people — they love the interaction. They aren’t under pressure so don’t be afraid to ask questions.”


For more information or to check out art from
previous years you can visit


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