Santa Barbara Free: I Madonnari Festival - NBC Southern California
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Santa Barbara Free: I Madonnari Festival

Watch dozens of colorful images come to life, on the ground, over Memorial Day Weekend.

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    Santa Barbara Free: I Madonnari Festival
    Luis Medina
    Topics run the gamut at the street painting festival. A work called "Endangered Species of the World" was part of a past I Madonnari festival.

    WE SAY "STREET PAINTING"... and you say "summertime"? That was, of course, a guess on our part, but we're going to guess that guess was in the right ballpark. For the major chalk festivals of California have a knack for landing on the calendar during the nicer days, when the rains have (mostly) bid us adieu and artworks created on sidewalks may remain for a weekend (or even longer). There's Italian Street Painting Marin, on June 24 and 25, and the mega festival in Pasadena, the one that always falls over Father's Day Weekend. But Santa Barbara is up first, over Memorial Day Weekend, and its annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival attracts locals and visitors on holiday seeking a fabulous and free way to watch art form before their very wondering eyes. The festival, which is marking its "XXXI Anniversario" in 2017, will spread out over all three days of the weekend, giving you ample time to watch a memorable, look-down gem come together, from the very first stroke of the very first piece of chalk.

    MAY 27 THROUGH 29... are the dates, the Mission Plaza is the place, and the beneficiary? Children's Creative Project, "a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office." Prepare to eye about 150 artworks, all created by an artist, or artists, who've plunked down on the pavement. Will there be some trompe l'oeil marvels? An ode to a favorite band? A still life or two? As is tradition with the big street painting festivals of the summer season, creative works shall reign and zingy surprises shall be seen. Fingers crossed that the works can weather a few days, so those arriving in Santa Barbara near the end of the weekend can admire the final, fantastic result.