May 30, 2006 - Chalk A Lot
Nothing in Santa Barbara says, school is almost over and summer is almost here like the I Madonnari Festival. Just last week we were all complaining about the Endless Winter and BLAM – we are all of a sudden complaining about it being too hot at the Mission.
On Monday, at an early hour, the dedicated staff of edhat.com was at the Santa Barbara Mission checking out the Festival.
In case you don’t know, I Madonnari is a chalk painting festival that raises money for local schools. Chalk another one up for Edhat. This year chalk-marks the third consecutive year that Edhat has been at I Madonnari. For the last three years we have gazed deep into the colorful chalk drawings for specific elements that we were counting.
Remember, we don’t count total number of elements throughout the festival. We count the number of drawings that contain any of the elements. So, a drawing with twenty birds is counted the same as a drawing with one.
To the untrained eye, each I Madonnari Festival might look alike. The years blend together like the colors of chalk.
And, the memories of specific drawings fade as quickly as do the drawings themselves that remain, adorning the asphalt in front of the Mission throughout the summer, until they finally disappear from view.
However, by counting certain the elements in the drawings, Edhat is finding differences that can be recorded on this website for a longer period of time. Last year it was butterflies, the symbol of rebirth and change. It was Ed’s theory that the large number of butterflies in drawings was a function of people desiring change.
This year, the top element in the chalk drawing was birds. Pressed for an explanation, Ed said that the last year must have proved a bit disappointing. Yearnings of metamorphosis were not fulfilled. Now, according to Ed, people just think about flying away. Eh.
It could just be that for artists, birds are the easiest element to add. A little v-shaped object in the sky is all it takes.
After birds came sea animals - a new, broader category this year that included fish, crabs, sea lions, and dolphins.
Mostly it was fish. Placing third in our chalk-drawing element scavenger hunt were cats (lions and tigers included).
Horses, babies, and dogs tied for fourth place. One drawing depicted a fetus as the pit inside an avocado. We really needed the Supreme Court to determine if this was a baby or not. The artist told us it was a baby – his choice we figured.
Insects, last year’s top category fell to seventh place. Rounding out the field were frogs, bicycles, and Missions.
Chalk another win for Edhat subscriber Mud (and chalk up another time we use this same joke). In the Daily contest, the Edhat veteran with a dirty name was the ONLY subscriber to guess all three elements in the correct order. Mud wins a t-shirt.
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