WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – A major Waco event gets a new name, and is coming back bigger and better than ever.

The Chalk Waco chalk art festival and vendor market returns to the Heart of Downtown Waco on Austin Avenue this Saturday and Sunday. Creative Waco is partnering with the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, the Eastside Market, LuluBelle’s Market, the STORIES Market, and MC Art Supplies to transform Austin Avenue – from 5th Street to 9th Street – into a showcase of local art, food, fashion and fun for all.

Throughout this free two-day event, Chalk Waco 2022 will feature 60 chalk street and wall murals representing local businesses, four vendor markets, a Family Fun Zone featuring hands-on activities and performances, a main stage featuring music and theatre, a roller skating rink and the Every Color is Beautiful Fashion Show.

The event will take place this Saturday from noon until 8:00 p.m. and this Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m.

“Last year’s event was such a win for everyone who participated – even in the pandemic,” said Creative Waco Executive Director Fiona Bond. “We are thrilled to be able to do even more this year to showcase our community’s amazing artists, musicians, designers, creative entrepreneurs, local businesses, non-profits, and the vibrant, diverse spirit of Waco, Texas.”

60 local artists have been partnered with 60 local businesses and organizations to collaborate and create chalk murals representing each business – which will make a vibrant carpet of art along Austin Avenue between 5th and 9th Streets.

There will also be two wall mural galleries in the 7th Street Pedestrian Plaza and the 7th Street Walkway, between Austin’s On the Avenue and The Edison Building. Many wall artists’ works are in progress, and street artists will start chalking the street from early Saturday morning in order to have their artwork finished by the time the markets open at noon.

The chalk murals will last on the street for at least a week, and the wall mural gallery artworks can last upwards to a year. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a live chalk art judging competition to vote for their favorite artwork. There will be a juried competition and final award ceremony on the Main Stage at 4:00 pm on Sunday.

“I enjoyed seeing so many beautiful passions and people coming together (art + local businesses + the community) come together as one again after sooo long,” said a 2021 event participant.

Waco is home to a collection of local markets which became an integral avenue for local small businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with the community and their customers throughout the pandemic. The Waco Downtown Farmers Market, the Eastside Market, LuluBelle’s Market and the STORIES Market will each host a curated area in parking lots lining the street artwork – with over 100 vendors and food trucks in total participating.

Chalk Waco has incorporated three new elements into this year’s event. The Waco Downtown Public Improvement District is presenting the Family Fun Zone run by the Heart of Texas Children’s Theatre, featuring hands on activities and performances. Performances on the main stage throughout the event will be coordinated by Keep Waco Loud. The Markets will also host their own musicians and performers in each market area.

Creative Waco is also partnering with Logan Allison, the famous “Heart Hatter”, to present the Every Color Is Beautiful Fashion Show from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Saturday in the 7th Street Pedestrian Plaza at Austin Avenue and 7th Street. The show will showcase eight local fashion designers and stylists Heart Hatter, RKJ, Couture tailoring by Roxana Robles, Rocco Moon, SAGE, 11:38, Ms Yik, Fortississimo, music by Chicano Country artist Romeo Vaughn, and DJ Matt At Home.

VIP tickets are $60 and include refreshments from Balcones, Brotherwell Brewing, Milo All Day, and Tru Jamaica. Promenade tickets are $30 and allow a standing view of the show, with a cash bar and food vendors to enjoy. This is the only ticketed event during Chalk Waco.

Creative Waco, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, the Eastside Market and LuluBelle’s Market piloted this event last year under the name Wacotown Chalk + Walk. It was the first major community event as the City of Waco lifted gathering restrictions due to the pandemic. It safely brought together around 12,000 community members from across McLennan County, featured chalk artworks by 52 local artists representing 52 local businesses, and hosted 102 vendors among the three markets.