Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival organizers are looking for artists of all ages to participate in the event’s new chalk art festival, and they also want elementary and middle school students to compete in the annual coloring contest.

This year’s Strawberry Festival is set for April 28 to 30 at the Santa Maria Fairpark, and the chalk art festival will allow artists to “bring strawberries to life right in front of festivalgoers’ eyes,” a Fairpark spokeswoman said.

Chalk artists each will be supplied with a 5-by-5-foot square of cement in front of the Convention Center and a box of professional chalk to create their masterpieces.

Designs must be strawberry-themed, may not include business advertising or political comments and must be preapproved by the festival, the spokeswoman said.

Artists will not be compensated, and there are no prizes other than bragging rights, but artists will be given two complimentary admission tickets and one parking pass.

To encourage children to join the fun, the Fairpark will provide chalk and a “Kid’s Canvas” area with each paid child’s admission, the spokeswoman said.

More details are available on the Fairpark website along with the application, which is due by March 31.

North County students can compete in the coloring contest that will be broken into three grade levels — first through third, fourth through sixth, seventh and eighth — with entries to be judged on originality, artistic composition and relevant content.

The winning student in each category will receive four festival admission passes and a $25 gift card, and the winning classroom teachers will receive a $150 gift card for school supplies, the Fairpark spokeswoman said.

Coloring contest entries are due April 14 at the Fairpark Administration Office, 937 S. Thornburg St.

For more information and a chalk art application, visit


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

Recommended for you