Sure, there was a bit of rain, but not enough to scare away most chalk artists.

Sure, there was a bit of rain, but not enough to scare away most chalk artists, who flocked to Forest Grove's sidewalks on Saturday.

'There were a few blank squares, but people came prepared,' said Roylene Read, one of the organizers of the 21st annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival.

Indeed, there were several umbrellas and a few canopies protecting the artwork downtown. However, most folks seemed fine with letting the sprinkles fall where they may and enjoying the day, which was far drier than a year ago.

And, she added, the use of the Rotary Club's big canopy, which sheltered the two bands, 'was a lifesaver.'

'It seemed to me that the people who came had a good time,' said Read, who noted that in addition to the two bands, the event also featured a balloon artist, clowns and a roving magician.

For those who wanted to stretch their legs, the Corn Roast next door on the Pacific University campus offered additional food and kids' activities.

'I think people with little kids really appreciate that,' say Read, who admitted she was a bit nervous when the Chamber of Commerce moved the Corn Roast from Sunday to Saturday a few years ago. 'The two events work well together.'

Financially, the event was a big success, with a record 379 squares sold. The proceeds help students pay for classes at the Valley Art Association and pursue art studies in college.

The Corn Roast, too, was deemed a good day. Chamber Director Teri Koerner said food sales haven't been tallied but the volume was way up from last year, when morning showers turned to serious rain.

Koerner said the event was another big group effort, but wanted to give a special thanks to Mike and Debbie Duyck, who supplied the signature menu item (sweet corn) and Forest Grove Light and Power, which stayed past the official 5 p.m. closing to ensure that all the kids who wanted a ride in the bucket got one.

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