It really doesn't matter what time of day you arrive at the annual Pasadena Chalk Festival; it is buzzing, onlookers are milling with cameras and sketchpads in hand, and artists are crouching on the ground, faces to the sidewalk, pastel-hued chalk scribbling away.
The annual artwork extravaganza, a Father's Day weekend tradition, happens at Paseo Colorado, that sprawling shopping center not too far from Old Town Pasadena. What we like about the location is that you might stumble upon -- literally stumble upon -- an artist at work anywhere (just watch where you're walking). Madonnari, or street artists, are creating below-the-feet wonders all over the outdoor areas, crafting cheeky portraits, whimsical landscapes, 3D works you feel as if you could step inside. No exaggeration; that is a specialty of some of the chalk dust-covered visionaries.
Again, cameras. We must recommend. Every year we've arrived we've regretted leaving home without one. Camera camera camera. Make a note, leave it by the back door, remember. Camera.