Highlights of the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival
The Lake Worth Street Painting Festival is said to be the largest of its kind in the world and brings people from all over the country during the month of February. The two day event converts the business district of Lake Worth into a museum of fine art.
In 2013, the 19th annual Lake Worth Street Painting Festival hosted over 100,000 visitors and featured 657 artists creating approximately 254 drawings on the streets of downtown Lake Worth, Florida. The chalk artists exhibited masterpieces of original artwork to the delight of enchanted viewers.
Guests saw artists' paintings, solely using chalk as a pastel medium, display drawings ranging from famous actors, movie themes, pop art, cartoon characters and inspirational themes.
It is must-see if you visit Florida during the winter month of February.
History of Street Painting
Street painting is thought to have its origins in Italy during the sixteenth century. It is said vagabond artists would paint renditions of famous pictures, during festivals, for food and coins as a means of living. Using basic tools of chalk, charcoal, broken roof tiles and colored stones they recreated simple illustrations on the courtyards of the cathedrals.
Kurt Wenner, introduced 3-D street painting in Old Mission Santa Barbara, California in 1987. He brought a new interest to the art and is now highly sought all over the world for his creative drawings. He is known as the Maestro Madonnaro, a title connected to the original street painters who used the Madonna as inspiration.
Edgar Mueller brought the concept of illuminescent painting to the 2010 US International Sarasota Chalk Festival. This style of art changes images from day to night, quite fascinating!
History of Lake Worth
Lake Worth, Florida was settled after the passing of the Homestead Act of 1882. The land was originally owned by two former slave owners, Samuel and Fannie James, and was referred to as Jewel. The land was later sold to the Palm Beach Farms Company in 1911. Subsequently, the name Jewel was changed to the town site of Lucerne
In 1912, Lake Worth was incorporated, and Lake Avenue became the first street to be graded and rocked in January of the same year. As the town grew, the Lake Worth Lagoon was fitted with a dock at the foot of Lake Avenue extending 1000 feet into the lake. Today, it holds events such as festivals, concerts and sports activities along the beach and boardwalk area which attract visitors from around the state.
The popular Lake Theater located on Lake Avenue opened in 1939, and the building is currently home to the Palm Beach Cultural Council. During season, patrons enjoy plays and musicals presented by local artists at this venue. One of the most exciting performances I have ever seen of Fiddler On The Roof was at this location. The theater is small but the art deco building's rich history and beauty provide an excellent backdrop for these types of events.
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What to see and visit
When you go, be sure to catch the live performances which feature talented bands and vocalists. The stage shows highlight jazz, classical, and pop during the afternoon and evening for visitor enjoyment. Along the street, sightseers can catch strolling minstrels, drum soloists, gospel artists and mimes acting out life-related scenes.
The food vendors are varied and offer guests everything from popular cuisine, sandwiches, desserts and drinks. Additionally, the local restaurants are open and offer specials during this event. And if you enjoy shopping, the business owners of downtown Lake Worth won't disappoint you in quality and variety.
Admission is free and open to the public from 10 am until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Parking is ample, but if you want to take advantage of a monitored lot, go early. Most people park along the streets but you may have to walk several blocks to get to the event.