Annual Chalk the Block event returns to St. Joseph

Published 11:22 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Need a summer boredom buster for your family before the back-to-school crunch begins? St. Joseph, Michigan, is hosting its 19th Annual Chalk the Block July 30 to Aug. 2.

Sponsored by Cook Nuclear Plant-Indiana Michigan Power, this free event draws regional artists who create chalk masterpieces downtown on Broad Street, between Lake Boulevard and State Street

A special guest artist this year will be Nate Baranowski from Tampa, Florida. His chalk murals and street art have awed audiences from Illinois to Florida. Festivalgoers can watch Baranowski create an original work in a 7-by-15 foot block at the corner of Broad and State Street. To view his portfolio, visit

Chalk art isn’t the only sidewalk entertainment planned. City merchants will showcase sales merchandise outside and local organizations will host special events such as heritage walking tours, a farmers market, Antiques on the Bluff and free, horse-drawn trolley rides around the Victorian-era town.

“This weekend celebrates our very walkable city,” said Jill Stone, executive director of St. Joseph Today. “Not only can you see awesome chalk art around town, families can easily walk to Whirlpool Compass Fountain, jam to live music or catch a movie outdoors by Lake Michigan. Everything is free.”

Stone said this long weekend also offers a good opportunity to view the city’s outdoor art exhibit “Splishin’ and a Splashin’” that showcases gigantic painted frogs, ducks and whales along downtown streets. She added the St. Joseph riverfront, several Lake Michigan beaches and family friendly attractions are walking distance from the shops and restaurants.


Chalk the Block activities include:

July 30-Aug. 2

• All day — Sidewalk sales

July 31

• 1 p.m. — Heritage Walking Tour: meet at St. Joseph Today Welcome Center, 301 State St.

• 4 to 7 p.m. — Chalk Artist Registration: Welcome Center

• 5 to 8 p.m. — Horse-drawn Trolley Rides: board at Elm and State Street

• 7:30 p.m. — Friday Night Concert: Lake Effect Jazz Big Band at John E.N. Howard Bandshell

Aug. 1

• All day — Chalk the Block: Broad St. (starts at 7 a.m.)

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Farmers’ Market: Lake Bluff Park

• 4 p.m. — Summer Jam 2015

• 10 p.m. (dusk) — Summer Movies: Jaws in Centennial Park


Aug. 2

• All day — Chalk the Block Viewing: Blocks completed by 10 a.m., judging follows

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Antiques on the Bluff

• 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. — St. Joseph Municipal Band: John E. N. Howard Bandshell


St. Joseph Today is a 501(c)(3) membership-based organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and business the city and its surrounding communities. For more information about Chalk the Block or upcoming events, visit, or call (269) 985-1111.