Just like last year, the 2013 Chalkfest has brought a bout of creativity and zest to a street that is attempting to make a big comeback. As much of the street is in the process of being torn up in order to bring auto traffic back to the mix, organizers of Chalkfest (learn more) couldn’t wait for the hustle and bustle of the crowds, so they set out to attract people themselves.
While there were some amazing chalk artists out on Saturday (the event continues today), I spent much of my time watching how visitors reacted to, and interacted with, the 500 block of downtown Buffalo. There was a makeshift café set up with food trucks, which gave us a glimpse into the future of the street, if all goes according to plan in coming years. It was great to see people sitting around, casually enjoying themselves on a weekend. And the families… there were kids everywhere. The kids were in heaven, strolling around observing all of the psychedelic Alice in Wonderland chalk drawings (great call on that theme).
In the end, it’s events such as this that will be of utmost importance as this section of Main Street begins to take on a new identity. Reinventing itself as a hub for business and culture is of utmost importance, and the best way for people to help is to fashion ways to draw more people to a part of the city that has been out of sight and mind for far too long.