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Thousands Attend Ninth Annual Prescott “Chalk It Up"
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25 April 2017  
Artist Willie Zin poses next to his completed chalk drawing featuring characters from the upcoming "Guardians of The Galaxy Two" during the ninth annual "Chalk It Up" on Sunday April 23rd, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona. Photo by: Torrence Dunham
Ninth Annual "Chalk It Up" Raises AtLeast $16,000 for West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation

PRESCOTT- It might have been toasty and just a bit windy on the pavement in the parking lot of the National Bank of Arizona over the weekend, but that didn’t stop artist Willie Zin from completing his chalk drawing after traveling the nearly four-hundred mile trek from Long Beach, California to Prescott, Arizona to join with hundreds of others in the ninth annual “Chalk It Up Prescott”.

Chalk It Up has become a staple of spring in Prescott since it’s beginning, as individuals come out each and every year to the National Bank of Arizona parking lot to grab a box of chalk and draw their creations for all to see.

“When I first started, I was just looking for any chalk event of the US,” said Zin who is one of the featured artists brought in from places as close as Prescott and as far away as Florida. “I found out about Prescott about six or seven years ago and I came out and I really like the community.”

The event has been run by the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation for the last three years, after taking over from the original creators of the festival, and is backed by donations from sponsors and members of the community; which allows the cost to be free for those who wish to draw.

While the final numbers have not been released, Meredith Brown-who took her first crack at planning the event after joining the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation as a AmeriCoprs Vistor member in November of 2016-expected at least five thousand people to attend the event and on Saturday had already passed the previous year’s money raised at around $16,000.

“Events like this is the bread and butter (of how West Yavapai Guidance Clinic has the funds to help those in the community),” said Brown. “It’s a testament to the history of the event, It just keeps evolving every year.”

Due to the costless nature of the event, it allows there to be a focus on not only featured artists like Zin, but also adults and children, all with varying range of artistic experience. The focus on everyone is a reason Zin enjoys the festival in Prescott compared to others he attends.

“All these kids are so amazing,” Zin said. “We’re like the side thing and they are the main thing.”

After much thought, Zin decided he would create a masterpiece based on the upcoming sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Two.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I’ve been thinking back and forth, looking through all the fun pictures,” Zin said. “I thought everybody loves this movie, all the characters are fun characters, and I happen to find one where they are all looking up and I was l like ‘I got to do this one.”’

As he worked throughout the weekend, onlookers came by and observed him draw a 3D picture of those lovable characters shown on the big screen.

“Whenever I try to do something that’s a 3D perspective one, I like to do something more fun that people can interact with,” Zin said.

After all was said and done, Zin took home third place in the People’s Choice Awards for best masterpiece. Schedule willing, Zin hopes to be back for years to come and continue sharing this annual culture of chalk art with the community.

Aerial Drone Photos Courtesy: David Williams with Williams Planning Consultants.

Photo Gallery by: Torrence Dunham

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Torrence Dunham

Torrence Dunham "TD" is a multimedia journalist who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.  Torrence is our PrescottValleyeNews.com Correspondent covering local news and events in Prescott Valley. He is also the lead sports correspondent and play-by-play pro for all our multimedia news sites. If he's not adding to his extensive sports bobble-head collection, he's talking baseball, his favorite. Follow him on Twitter: @Tadunham.