Gresham Arts Festival features artists, world record breakers, talent competition

July 6, 2017

This year's 16th annual Gresham Arts Festival is bigger and better than ever with more than 150 artists, live music, free family fun, the Reclaim Chalk of Fame world record attempt and two new events. 

It’s all happening Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, in historic downtown. 

The Arts Festival draws thousands from around the region each year to the charming downtown streets to meet, browse and shop from a carefully curated crop of Northwest artists and artisans, ranging from painters, potters and sculptors to woodworkers, photographers, jewelers and more. 

New festival events 

On Friday, July 14, the Art Under the Stars charitable silent auction event from 5:00-9:00 pm includes pieces donated by Arts Festival artists. Proceeds benefit Gresham Outdoor Public Art. While bidding, attendees can enjoy award-winning R&B artist Norman Sylvester and friends on a beautiful summer evening in downtown. Beer, wine and food is available for purchase. 

On Saturday evening, Gresham's Got Talent will showcase a wide array of talented entertainers in our community at the Arts Plaza. Celebrity judges are Katie Harman, Miss America 2002; Kirk Mouser, Stumptown Stages Producer/Broadway actor; and Haley Green, Broadway actress/former Disney Princess. Food and beverage booths open at 6:00 pm; the show begins at 6:30 pm.

World record attempt

The Gresham community and festival visitors will also come together to Reclaim the Chalk of Fame. The Canadian city of Summerside stole the world record set by the Gresham community in 2015 for the largest display of chalk pavement art. 

Families, businesses, community groups and visitors will steal the record back by coloring in 500 chalk drawings designed by local artists. The drawings will center around the themes of Gresham community spirit and Americana. Everyone is welcome to help break the record and color in a square (or two, or three!). 

Thank you to organizations signed up for 10 or more squares: First Class East Gresham Homeschool; Neighbor-Helping-Neighbor; Nutz n Boltz Theater; Gresham City Learning Center; Free Arts NW. 

Drop in between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Arts Plaza on Third Street between Hood and Kelly Avenues, or reserve your blocks online. A measurement ceremony and celebration is at 5:30 pm. 

"There's something for everyone at the Arts Festival. It's a wonderful way to spend a summer weekend in our charming, thriving downtown," Mayor Shane Bemis said. "I'll be there and plan to do my part by coloring in some chalk squares so we can steal our world record back from Canada. I invite you to join me!" 

Gresham Arts Festival

The free, family-friendly Gresham Arts Festival continues Saturday, July 15, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and, in addition to more than 150 artist booths and a dozen musical acts, the Kids' Village will set up shop at the Arts Plaza. Cool off in the Children's Fountain, explore a fire truck and police car, tackle a sports obstacle course, and enjoy games of ring toss, corn hole, an inflatable slide and much more. 

More than 100 shops and eateries will throw their doors open for visitors to browse and dine. The Gresham Farmers' Market offers fresh produce on Third Street and adds to the festivities by remaining open until 5:00 pm. 

Free shuttle and parking

Park at Gresham City Hall,1333 NW Eastman Parkway, or at the Gresham Transit Station, 350 NE Eighth St., and take the free shuttle to the Arts Plaza, courtesy of First Student. 

Parking is available at nine City-owned lots in and around downtown. Public transportation is also available via TriMet's MAX Blue Line to the Gresham Central Transit Center. 

See festival map and directions

Thank you sponsors!

More than 40 sponsors make this community event possible. Special thanks to our Patron sponsors: Gresham FordGresham StationThe Outlook/Pamplin Media GroupMetroEast Community Media  101.9 KINK and 98.7 The Bull; and to our Pillar sponsors, NW Natural and Pathway Church

Learn more about the Gresham Arts Festival