One of our favorite summer events is back – and it’s moved to the North Shore. Chalk Fest is THIS SATURDAY!

Photo above of artwork by Eric Greenawalt “The Chalking Dad” courtesy of Chalk Fest.

Riverlife’s Pittsburgh Riverwalk & Chalk Fest is happening this Saturday, May 27 (1 p.m.-6 p.m.), on Isabella Street in newly minted Pop District atop Allegheny Landing, between Federal and Sandusky Streets. A special viewing day has also been added on Sunday, May 28, (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) in collaboration with BikePGH’s Open Streets.

This free and all-ages public event, back for its second year, features 24 artists from nine states. Artists joining the festival hail from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, California, Florida, Minnesota and more — and will be taking up residence in the Steel City on Memorial Day Weekend to showcase their work.

Works will range from pieces that invite guests to participate, like Sandy Forseth’s popular interactive chalk mandala, to three-dimensional masterpieces from artists like Jan Riggins (Fort Worth, Texas), Kumpa Tawornprom (Tampa, Florida), Allison Severson (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and Pittsburgh’s own “The Chalking Dad” Erik Greenawalt.

Some pieces will be inspired by Pittsburgh’s rivers and riverfronts as an homage to Riverlife’s work.

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Photo of Kumpa Tawornprom and his artwork courtesy of Chalk Fest.

Local collaborations that bring the community together will be highlighted at this year’s Chalk Fest. The Pop District will be working with artist Kumpa Tawornprom as he crafts a Warhol-inspired piece. The Warhol Academy students will be filming the event and partaking in social media coverage throughout the day as a part of their hands-on media training experience.

Fred Rogers Productions will be teaming up with chalk artist Tiffany Kelly to bring two characters to life from “Alma’s Way” and “Donkey Hodie,” their hit PBS KIDS series, on Isabella Street. The beloved Pittsburgh-based organization will also provide a children’s activity for the youngest Chalk Fest guests.


Public art on the streets of the North Shore is not the only thing on the menu! On Saturday, over a dozen food vendors will be lining Isabella and General Robinson Streets for the Pittsburgh Riverwalk & Chalk Fest. Guests will have their pick of everything from local frozen treats from Millie’s Ice Cream and McFeely’s Arctic Ice to custom burgers from Burgatory, and more.

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Local chalk artist Eric Greenawalt will be among those creating public art during the event. Photo courtesy of Chalk Fest.

Shorty’s will be hosting a festive CHALK-tail Bar, featuring refreshing beverages for all ages and selections for the 21+ crowd. A portion of proceeds from the day’s food and drink sales will benefit Riverlife. Live music will also be enjoyed at the top of Allegheny Landing at Saturday’s Festival.

Pittsburgh-based local singer/songwriters will perform throughout the day with sets by Dr. D and the Earthtones, Arie Cole, Byron Nash & Jacquea Mae of NASH.V.ILL., and Paging Dr. Moon. In addition to live music, P.G.H. Party Creations will be hosting complimentary face painting and glitter tattoo art, and Shorty’s will be hosting block-party style games.

Artists will begin work on their street murals on Friday, May 26, and will welcome onlookers throughout the process. Works will be complete or nearing completion in time for the Fest’s 1 p.m. start on Saturday. On Sunday, the art will still be available to view during BikePGH’s first Open Streets event of the season. Guests will have the opportunity to “meet and greet” with the artists and engage in photo ops with their favorite pieces on Saturday during the Festival.

“Last year’s first Chalk Fest was magical, and this year promises to bring even more fun and even more incredible art,” says Erik Greenawalt, The Chalking Dad. “I’ve participated in a lot of the larger national festivals and it’s exciting to welcome so many of my esteemed artist friends to Pittsburgh and show off our city for the second year. Last year, they loved Pittsburgh and it’s amazing how the city has embraced this event and we can’t wait to unveil this year’s art on the North Shore!”

Pittsburgh Riverwalk & Chalk Fest is a family friendly event that is free and open to the public!