My day at Pier Park – Madonnaro Street Painting Festival

I believe this is the first time I’ve spent almost all afternoon at Pier Park.  The weather was perfect, people were everywhere, kids were laughing, it was a great time.

Today and tomorrow is the Madonnaro Street Painting Festival, hosted by the Visual Arts Center of Panama City.  Local artists and a few from out of town gathered on Panama City Beach to create art that will inevitably wash away, only to be preserved in pictures and video.

The day started out cool and overcast, but around noon, I watched the clouds be pushed away by crystal clear blue sky.  The air warmed to nearly 80 degrees.  Artists shed layers as they crouched on their knees smoothing and blending fresh chalk with their hands.

Lunch time brought an original Viking Hot Dog.  Stuffed in a fresh baget with a hole in the middle the all natural dog had a crunchy skin, and perfect inside.  The flavor was exceptional, but the price for how it filled my belly was twice too much at $5. The cart was from Seaside, out here for the weekend.

As the day wore on, the artists knees and backs grew sore, but the paintings grew more vivid and elaborate.

Tracy Stums flew in from California to share her talent with The Beach.  Last year, she created an interactive piece of the Dali Lama that, when looked at from a specific angle, appeared to be sitting next to her.  This year, she is painting an Alice in Wonderland scene.  Other paintings include Jack and the Bean Stalk, Iron Man, and a dinosaur excavation site to name just a few.

The street painting festival brings out an interesting culture, something I was very glad to be a part of.  Who knows, maybe next year, I’ll paint something.

Last night rain washed away most of what was created yesterday, but tonight, all that threatens is cold, expected to get in the high 30’s tonight.  All afternoon, we could feel the temperature dropping, most likely a 25 degree change from this afternoon to 5 this evening.

Tomorrow, the artists will all return to finish off their paintings.  Provided we don’t get any rain, many will last for a couple weeks.