Downtown Wausau is starting to see more colors with Chalkfest

Chalkfest returns to the 400 block
Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Hundreds of people and artists lined the 400 Block Saturday after last year’s event was canceled.

Registration Organizer, Nichol Kellenberger said it feels good to be back. “We are seeing a lot of old faces it feels like family to be back again.”

Artists and even friends took the time to decorate a square. We’re chalking it up,” chalk artist Lenn Soderlund said. Soderland flew all the way from Colorado. “My bosses were like wait what are you doing this weekend, I’m like oh ya chalk, I’m drawing chalk, they’re like where and I was like on the sidewalk.”

Something that might raise an eyebrow from some people, is a tradition for others. “Lenn’s mom bought him a square,” Lenn’s friend and chalk artist, Luke Ortscheid said. “I think when we were either in middle school or early high school and we’ve done it every year since then except last year.” Lenn added, “It definitely holds a special place in my heart.”

A special place to get back together. “I think that’s what the joy of Chalkfest is seeing people at least once annually, a lot of people come to see us that we knew from our childhood,” Luke said.

It’s also an opportunity for them to catch up with old friends. “This is the catalyst for friends and family, come back from Colorado. This is kind of my one weekend to come back to Wausau,” Lenn said.

The two are drawing something a little special that comes with the times. “We are drawing Giannis Antetokounmpo,” Lenn said. “Considering the NBA finals, and supporting our main man here,” Luke added.

The two friends say they aren’t sure if the work of art would be done Saturday or Sunday. But one thing they are sure of, making memories. “I think as the years have gone by, it’s almost been less about the artwork and more about the people,” Lenn said.

Chalkfest happens July 10 through July 11. For more information about the event, click here.

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