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Young artists chalk it up to Fun

REBEKAH WILSON • Jul 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

KINGSPORT — Prizes were awarded to three creative artists at Tuesday night’s first ever Fun Fest Chalk Walk at Beef ‘O’Brady’s.

“I think the Chalk Walk had a great turnout for its first year, and it’s always wonderful to see parents taking the time to be with their children,” said Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Manager Ben Way. “Without things like the Chalk Walk, a lot of parents would be stuck inside on a beautiful day, and we were blessed with awesome weather.”

Best Overall and a $75 gift card to Walmart went to Jess Brundige for her grinning alien and planets depiction set in a black chalk background — unlike any of the other drawings.

Rainna Stallard, 12, won Most Creative with her almost completely accurate chalk portrait of Sonic the Hedgehog and the caption “Gotta go fast!”.

“I’m a fanatic,” she said.

She draws one or two pictures every day and uploads them to a website, many of which are illustrations of Sonic. She won a six-month pass for free video game play in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s game room.

The winner of the third category, Beef’s Team Choice, was Kylar Nation, 9. His sidewalk square was decorated with a large Festus under a Beef ‘O’Brady’s banner with a shamrock. He did not know the awards categories or that there was a Beef’s Team Choice award; he just knew there would be awards. He and his family eat at Beef ‘O’Brady’s frequently, and he said his love for the restaurant inspired his picture. His prize was a $25 gift card to Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.

About 55 children, most under 10 years old, decorated squares,

Many included Festus in their drawings, like 9-year-old Lexi Freeman, while others drew things like Pal’s tea, flowers, vehicles and city scenes.

Leland Corker, 11, drew a 1960s city scene. His cousin Sam Lancor, 6, was visiting from Asheville, N.C., and drew a garden with flowers.

The two were with their grandfather, Allan Kelly, who already had taken them to Kids Central twice, “Godspell” and the Aquatic Center, and they plan to see Sandi Patty and to attend the Food City Food Show and the Hot Air Balloon Glow.

“Just look at the crowd,” he said. “Everyone seems to be enjoying it. Chalk art is something they’re familiar with, so it was a great way to introduce a project. Our driveway has looked like this more than once.”

Loretta McCray, 6, drew a picture of her father with her at their house. Her brother John Paul, 7, colorfully decorated his square next to hers and was excited to show it off.

Jake Shelton, 6, drew the road from the Dukes of Hazzard, a river and a rainbow. He raced his model car across it at lightning speed in a demonstration.

Gracie Blevins, 12, drew some of her favorite Fun Fest icons and Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb, as well as an anchor alongside the infinity symbol to represent being forever young.

The contest judges were Breonna Moles, Laura Mixon, Suzie Hale, Kaylee Stenson, Karly Stenson and tie-breaking judge Tracy Stenson.

The restaurant and sole event sponsor provided hot dogs, chips, a treat and a drink in a $4 children’s dinner deal.

“I think it’s the perfect event to bring families together in Kingsport,” said Way.

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