Art and Hops Collide at Chalktoberfest

A very detailed chalk drawing of a pink flamingo beginning to spread its wings

[Feature photo by Brian Benefield]

[This is the latest installment of “Cobb Cuisine, Culture and Community” by Brian Benefield]

October is upon us, and I absolutely love this time of year when the mosquitoes hopefully die a slow, agonizing death. I can open the windows in my house to let the gentle, cool breeze flow and keep the light bill to a minimum. There are many corn mazes to get lost in and haunted houses to scare you so badly you may have to use the porta potty afterward. Ewww, no thanks.  

But the event I look forward to the most is Chalktoberfest, which is presented by the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. My wife, Cecilie, and I went there recently, and the art on display is magnificent. The building itself is artwork as it was the city’s post office in the 1900s and shows off its broad shoulders on the facade with massive columns and a majestic stairwell inside that has been very well preserved. Stairs made of marble, wrought iron and wood railings are worth eyeballing if you do nothing else. 

Artists come from all corners of the world to participate in this one-of-a-kind festival, where they create leviathan-sized chalk drawings ranging from portraits to animals to 3D type images that you can interact with to create a surreal picture if you take it from the right vantage point. We like to go on Sunday evening when the artists are finishing up their projects and view the awe-inspiring work they’ve created. Some of the art is so life-like that it appears to be jumping right off the asphalt, and my wife has caught me a few times just staring at particular drawings with my mouth agape.  

Beer, delicious hoppy beer, will be abundant at this jamboree with 125 different types of craft beer to delight your palate and broaden your brew horizons. Tickets are available online and are $45 now and $50 at the gate, so hurry up and secure yours today. There will be the usual suspects all around Marietta Square, including food trucks, craft vendors peddling their wares, live music throughout the day, and an antique auto show on the adjacent Powder Springs street. This is my favorite event all year, and the professional artists’ talent really shines through at Chalktoberfest.  

We recently attended a happy hour with the Marietta Arts Council at Glover Park Brewery. They’ve created a very slick mini magazine that describes all the art-related events coming up in what they have dubbed Artober, and I think that is quite. Darn. Clever. Swing by the Marietta Welcome Center or various art galleries and shops around the square to pick one up, so you’ll be in the know about all art-related happenings this month.  

We have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Arts Council, and they’re always looking for more creative-minded folks to join the fray. And you, too, can help shape the art scene in your backyard. Being around imaginative people lets you open your mind to how art, in all forms, is enriching to the local economy, helps promote tourism, and, most of all, beautifies the community for everyone.  

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Brian Benefield is an Atlanta native born in Dekalb County, who has lived in Cobb since 2003. He has worked in Hospitality, Marketing, Real Estate, and most recently Food Tourism. Married to Cecilie Benefield for 12 blissful years. They have a dog, Miss Pickles. Hobbies are mountain biking, running, gardening, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Member of Les Marmitions cooking club since 2016, where we cook 5-course meals with local Atlanta chefs.