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Santa Clarita's Street Art Fest Coming to Newhall
October, 2006 - Issue #24
Ever marveled at the handiwork of the street painters?

With little more than a handful of colored chalk, a model picture and a good pair of kneepads, they can turn a patch of ordinary asphalt into a stunning work of art.

In a matter of hours, these street virtuosos can take the very ground you walk on and drive over, and transform it into a platform for something beautiful.

Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Chagall. Picasso, Monet and Matisse. Rivera and Renoir and Michelangelo.

The masters of the past spring to life at your feet. A thoroughfare for cars becomes a theater of the classics.

If you've witnessed such a transformation, you know that words do it little justice.

And if you have not, your chance is just weeks away.

On October 7 and 8, the Santa Clarita Street Art Festival is coming to Newhall. The festival will draw professional street painters from across Southern California, a lineup of artistic talent eager to turn the stretch of San Fernando Road from Lyons Avenue to 5th Street into something special.

Of course, they won't be alone. They won't even be the only painters.

Like last year, the festival will feature special squares reserved for the community's children. For $10, a section of the street can belong to someone you love.

"The small squares for the kids were a big hit last year," says City of Santa Clarita Art Events Supervisor Michael Flemming. "There will also be squares sponsored by local businesses. The Santa Clarita Artists Association is also involved."

Along with the street painting magic, festival attendees will be treated to an array of international musical talent. An entertainment stage near 6th Street will feature an eclectic mix of Irish dance, Polynesian, Latin guitar, Caribbean, Zydeco and Reggae music.

"We wanted to go with an international flavor," Flemming says. "There will be a lot of dance music. If you like Lord of the Dance, you'll love the Irish band, the Twilight Lords."

The Twilight Lords will perform on Saturday night from 7p.m. and 9 p.m. For a full list of performers and times, visit the street festival's website at www.streetartfest.com.

As always, there is no cost to attend the festival, except for perhaps a pair of tired feet. According to Flemming, there's enough at the festival to keep people entertained - and exploring - all day.

"Last year we had a 'crazy hats' booth outside the Canyon Theatre Guild," he says. "This year it's 'crazy masks.' There will be a lot to keep adults and kids busy."

The booth is open to anyone with a flair for the creative and the desire to put something truly unique across his or her face. Mask materials are free.

The purpose of the festival is threefold.

First, it's meant to show people a good time.

Second, it's intended to show Santa Clarita residents the SCV's artsy side. Downtown Newhall, anchored by the Canyon Theatre Guild, is a sort-of cultural hub in the community - a hub few may recognize.

That lack of recognition, says Flemming, lies at the heart of reason number three. The festival exists to remind people of the rich culture and history of downtown Newhall.

"Last year we had a lot of comments like, 'We didn't know there were so many restaurants and stores down here,'" Flemming says. "That's what we want. We want newcomers to this valley to become aware of downtown Newhall. There's a lot of history here. It's a great place for people to discover and rediscover."

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 8.

That's plenty of time for discovery, festival officials believe. And if not, the downtown district is happy to welcome visitors anytime.

Save the street painting for the festival, though.

The Mona Lisa wouldn't look right with tire tracks across her face, and neither would you!
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