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News: Rotary Club's Street Painting Festival returns to Oak Ridge with historic theme on Oct 16

2021 Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival at Historic Jackson Square. 2021 Theme: Honoring Scarboro 85

October 6, 2021

An important local step in integration is the theme of this year’s Street Painting Festival in Oak Ridge: “Honoring Scarboro 85.”

Sponsored by the Noon Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, this long-standing tradition will attract artists and onlookers from around the area. It’s scheduled for Saturday, October 16, in Historic Jackson Square – the centerpiece of the once Secret City. A rain date of October 17 has been set in case of bad weather.

Proceeds from the event, which has been held since 1999, provide scholarship funds for full-time or part-time Roane State Community College students from Anderson County.

Nearly $300,000 in scholarships issued by the nonprofit Roane State Foundation have been provided to students since the start of the festival. In just the last 10 years, at least 75 students have been helped by these scholarships.

The “Honoring Scarboro 85” theme recognizes the first Black students from the former Scarboro School who integrated Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Junior High on September 6, 1955.

Artists that create chalk art clearly inspired by the “Honoring Scarboro 85” theme will have a chance to win a $25 bonus prize.

Cash prizes will be awarded to participants. “Best of Show” wins $300 while the “People’s Choice Award” will receive $200. Other prizes for each category are $75 for first place, $25 for second, and $15 for third.

Free chalk and supplies will be provided. Artists can begin their creations at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. Craft and food vendors will be on hand, as well as musical groups.

Sponsors buy a sidewalk square for the artists to use in exhibiting their creativity. Sponsorship levels range from $5,000 for Platinum down to $100 for Individual, but any amount is welcomed.

Sponsorships can be made online at Checks can be mailed to Roane State Foundation at 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748. Please note on the checks that the contributions are for the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival.

Roane State officials said other Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs have also supported the festival in previous years.

The Roane State Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation governed by an independent board of directors and established to provide financial support for Roane State students and programs. The Foundation seeks to enhance community awareness of the college, to secure private contributions and bequests and to manage monies or properties given to the Foundation. For more information, visit or email

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