As a gentle rain fell the morning of June 24, the rain date of the already postponed Chalk Walk, Bridgit Matros of Waterfall Arts was preparing to cancel the event. But all the artists insisted on coming anyway, she said, so the sidewalk chalking show went on.

Artists created images worth stepping into on sections of the Harbor Walk they had reserved in Heritage Park, while children chalked their own pieces on a first-come, first-served basis on a narrower path crisscrossing the park. Participants in Waterfall Arts' after-school art program, "Bridge," helped staff the event.

As the rain tapered off, the damp pavement made for more vibrant colors. By noon, it had turned into a hot sunny day, and children paused from their chalking to swim fully clothed in a small cove.

Matros said sidewalk chalking events are uncommon in the Northeast but are more popular elsewhere in the country, partly because sidewalks here are rough. They are that way on purpose: the surfaces are grated so they're less slippery in icy weather.

"You see some breathtaking chalk art online, but you zoom in and can see that the surface is smooth like slate," Matros said. "There are no big slate plazas around here."

Heritage Park has the smoothest sidewalks in Belfast, Matros said she discovered, after testing them all with a piece of chalk.

Among the chalk artists was Lucy (Hanson) Lowry of Inverness, Florida. She grew up in Belfast, then left to join the Marines and Army Reserves, and was sent to Desert Storm. In Florida she is an art teacher and watercolor artist. She was in the area visiting her parents the day of the Chalk Walk.

Though she doesn't often work with chalk herself, she said she gives young beginners chalk to draw with and then they blend with paint brushes dipped in water.

She said the roughness of the pavement was a little difficult to work on, but that she would like to try a technique used by another attendee: painting with a mix of cornstarch and water.

Lowry remarked that as a child she was not allowed to go down to the waterfront of Belfast, but that she is enjoying how beautifully the area has developed.

Among the children working on chalk drawings were Walker Pitkin, 7, Josie Cowles, 13, and Forest Pitkin, 9, all of Belfast. Walker was working on a sunburst, Josie was recreating album cover art of her favorite musician, Lorde, and Forest was starting out with a rainbow design and seeing where it took him. When asked if he considered himself and artist, he sat up, revealing a T-shirt that said in red letters, "I am an artist!," and replied, "Sort of."

MJ Viano Crowe of Belfast taught in Rhode Island and has participated in chalk festivals with her students in Providence. There, teams would work in 8-by-8 squares in a downtown skatepark. "The place would be filled," she said, "It was wall-to-wall." About the Chalk Walk, she said it is "really fun" and that she hopes it happens again next year.

Becky Brimley of Belfast said, "I discovered art midlife and enjoy art with my kids." Her children Rosie and Isi helped by mixing cornstarch, water and food coloring for a more paint-like medium and opaque colors. "It makes it pop," Rosie said.

Waterfall Arts founder Alan Crichton and his wife Lorna created a chalk rendition of an Andre Derain painting of the River Seine in Paris. They said Derain was among the group of French Fauve ("wild beasts") artists of the early 1900s who used bright, wild colors in their paintings, and introduced color as an independent element in paintings, rather than being confined to representation.

After rains Sunday night, some of the chalk drawings washed away, and some were just slightly faded and softened. Only the yellow remained of the Derain.

Matros said she plans to do it "bigger and better" next year, with the help of some of the artists who have participated in chalking festivals in other parts of the country. But she plans to schedule it for a less rainy season next year: "Maybe autumn," she said.