This year signals the third year of Family Fun Nights in Preston. Family Fun Night began as the brainchild of business owner Trish Keating and has morphed into a Preston Chamber of Commerce event meant to bring families into Preston and show them what the community had to offer.

Families wander around the business square shopping, visiting with friends and neighbors or partaking in entertainment like the powder puff derby, bingo or classic tractor show. Shops provide discounts or special sales to cater to the fun evening. The night is an opportunity for area families to have a good time on the town.

The festivities for the Family Fun Nights keep expanding and more ideas for entertainment have shown up each time. This year, one new way for the families to come out and have more fun is through the Preston Arts Council introducing chalk art.

The Preston Arts Council sponsors events such as concerts and more to enrich the community life. This year, the organization hopes to enhance it through the art and add a new ampleness to the Family Fun Night. This craft would give residents an ability to express themselves artistically around town.

"I am definitely excited they are doing this because it is another way to bring more people in to Preston and brings another dimension of art to Family Fun Nights," Keating stated.

Preston Arts Council member Melody Stockton spoke of giving residents the opportunity to be creative. During Family Fun Night, there will be a certain number of sidewalk squares for people and families to draw some kind of sidewalk art. This event will take place on Aug. 14.

"We have thought about doing this for a couple of years now. Some of us have seen it done in other places as a fundraiser where the group or artist pays for a square on the sidewalk to draw on," Stockton related.

A few council members have looked into how other towns and places have done the chalk art. Stockton remembered one being in La Crosse at one time as a fundraiser.

One difference the Preston Arts Council wants to make known is that this activity on Family Fun night is not meant to be a fundraiser. It is free and exists to add to the fun in Family Fun Night.

But to see how people will warm up to the idea and begin to think about what they themselves would draw, the council members will be producing their own art on June 12 at 12 p.m.

"We want to give the people an idea of what will be coming up and get them interested in doing art. This will just be a practice run," stated Stockton.

The artists will do their own drawings on the sidewalk in front of Stockton and Keating's businesses, Uncommon Charms, LLC, and Julia Claire Repeat Boutique. During June's Family Fun Night, residents may be able to start thinking about what they would want to do for the scheduled event. After witnessing the practice run, people can sign up for a square for the August Family Fun Night.

"We need to have people sign up so we can have the right number of allotted squares. They can sign up in any kind of group," Stockton said.

People can turn out as a group of friends or family. The event is free, but participants must sign up prior to the event. Chalk will be provided by the chamber of commerce.

"The chalk is completely washable, so we would like to have the people use our chalk, otherwise it will stay on for a while. We will see how the chalk works for the practice run on June 12," Stockton commented.

Because this is the first time an event such as this has been implemented in Preston, the council will be using the practice run to see how smoothly things go. As yet, Stockton is not sure where or when signing up will begin for the event in August. Once the time and place is determined the council will let the area residents know. So keep an eye out for more information about the chalk art in the coming weeks.