Monday, October 22, 2012
Photos: Cleaning crew removes chalk from family-friendly event in Dallas
One of the organizers says Dallas is too regulated.
DALLAS Chalk-toberfest in Dallas on Sunday was a seemingly simple event that invited families to color the sidewalks of some of their favorite areas of Dallas. But a city ordinance prohibits people from using chalk in certain parts of Dallas, considering it graffiti.
On Sunday, members of the Downtown Dallas, Inc. "Clean Team" confiscated chalk and chalk boards at Main Street Garden during Chalk-tober. "They didn't mean any harm by doing it, but they're just doing what they got to do," said one member of the cleaning crew who refused to be identified.
Organizers had set out chalk boards at Main Street Garden because using chalk on the stones will stain.
The event was organized by the same City Hall employee who took a swim in the City Hall fountain even though he knew it was against city ordinance. Patrick McDonnell continues to push the boundaries in downtown Dallas: "We're just trying to show that chalk is benign. You can wash it off easily and it doesn't really harm anybody. We understand that people can use chalk in a negative manner, but we're trying to promote positive, good messages," he said.
"We are hoping to educate people on how to use public spaces responsibly."
McDonnell organized the event with Amanda Popken, who also works for the city. "In vibrant cities, it's an incredible experience because you're able to stumble on to fun, and we're not able to do that here in Dallas," Popken said. "Everything is very regulated."
Some of the Chalk-toberfest locations included Buzzbrews Kitchen in Deep Ellum; Spire Realty at Downtown Dallas' Bryan Tower; and the Arts District.
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