Chalk the Block: El Paso’s Top Downtown Art Event

If you’re searching for a dose of culture during your stay in El Paso, look no further than Chalk the Block. This annual art event has grown to be the most significant public arts festival in the region, turning the streets of downtown El Paso into a giant open-air gallery. Whether you’re a longtime resident of El Paso or just passing through, Chalk the Block is not to be missed. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this one-of-a-kind cultural event.

What is Chalk the Block?

Chalk the Block (CTB) was founded in 2008 as a one-day sidewalk chalk art competition with twelve participating artists. It has grown through local support to a three-day art festival that takes place every October in downtown El Paso. 

The event attracts more than 45,000 attendees yearly. It features a juried sidewalk chalk art competition, temporary art installations, street performances, a live music stage at San Jacinto Plaza, local art, and food vendors. In addition to admiring the beautiful artwork of featured artists, attendees can create their own chalk masterpieces. 

What to Expect at Chalk the Block 2022

This year’s Chalk the Block theme is “15 years in the 915.” The event will take place in El Paso’s Downtown Arts District from October 7-9, featuring over 100 local and touring artists. 

This year’s festival is back and better than ever! The event will feature some amazing interactive installations that are sure to excite and delight attendees. First up is Amanda Parer’s Intrude installation, which consists of five massive (23 feet tall) illuminated rabbits that will be placed throughout the festival footprint. Parer deliberately uses cute images with visual humor to lure people into the art, only to surprise them with more important messages about the environment. Next, visitors can head over to the Chalk Bot by Fab Lab El Paso, allowing attendees to share their favorite memories on Twitter. 

The much loved Chalk Art Competition will showcase some of El Paso’s incredible showcase, emerging and high school artists. The competition will be located at the Pedestrian Pathway which is adjacent to Southwest University Park. 

Free chalk will be available at the MCAD Information Booth and GECU Kids Zone. Families with young children will also enjoy bouncers and other activities available for a fee. In addition, there is special programming happening during festival hours at the Main Library branch, Museum of Art, and the Museum of History. 

The weekend’s events will be turbocharged with live music performances curated by thChrch. Featured DJs include Rodriga Rockmore and friends, who’ll spin on Friday and Saturday; Birth Defects closes things out for Sunday visitors!

The three-day event is free to the public. 
Friday 10/7: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Preview Night)
Saturday 10/8: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday 10/9: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Parking is available from $10 a day at multiple downtown locations. Metered parking is also available. 

Visit Chalk the Block for the schedule of events and additional festival details.

Discover More of El Paso

Planning a visit to El Paso? Consider booking your legendary stay at The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park. While in downtown El Paso, we suggest securing a reservation for dinner at Ámbar Restaurante, followed by an evening of cocktails and rooftop views at La Perla