The Humane Society of Harrison County instructs animal lovers to mark their calendars for May 4, the new date for the 17th annual Faux Paws Dog Walk, originally scheduled for this Saturday.

“Humane Society of Harrison County’s The Pet Place has postponed the 17th annual Faux Paws Dog Walk until May 4 due to predicted bad weather for Saturday,” said Kay Hill, the organization’s executive director.

Hill said organizers are excited about this year’s event as it will feature a new, innovative sidewalk chalk art contest titled “Chalk the Walk.”

“This is the first time that this has been done in Marshall,” Hill said.

She said a volunteer out of Oregon suggested the freestyle chalking contest, sharing how the events are a big hit at various themed festivals throughout the country.

“It may be the clam shell festival, so people do clamshells. One was a peanut. They do Mr. or Mrs. Peanut,” Hill said. “So it’s a very popular event in other towns or cities.

“We would like to get it started here in Marshall,” said Hill.

The entry fee is $15. The contest is open for both children and adults.

“We are looking for young, aspiring artists,” said Hill, sharing she already has two high school students that have signed up.

Any child up to age 18 can participate in the youth category. Ages 18 and older can participate in the adult category.

First through third place trophies will be awarded in each category. Spectators will choose the winner for the People’s Choice Award.

“Whoever wins the People’s Choice Award will be our advertisement for next year on our poster,” said Hill. “It needs to be dog-, cat-themed picture to be used on the 2020 advertisement and posters for Faux Paws.”

She said prospective participants can pick up an entry form from The Pet Place at 1901 Jefferson Avenue, or they may sign up the day of the May 4 activity.

“We will have some gift cards to go with those trophies,” Hill said, noting this will include $50 gift cards from Walmart and more.

Participants may bring their own chalk or use the chalk provided by the Humane Society. Participants will be allotted a 4-foot workspace to create.

“We’re excited that we’ll have some artists at the Visual Art Center, and maybe those that do the painting with a twist,” said Hill. “A lot don’t do chalk, but they can try.”

“We’ll have people walk around the square and vote for People’s choice award,” she said, noting that some of the staff from the Michelson Museum of Art will also serve as judges.

Hill invites all aspiring artists and those who just want to have some fun to participate in this fundraiser for the group.

“I’d like to encourage everybody to put on their artistic hats and come and try and enjoy seeing what other people do and enjoy visiting,” she said. “It’s just an outing for Marshall.

“There’s not a lot to do in Marshall,” said Hill. “We’re just thinking this is a good activity and one a parent and child can do together.”

The contest will begin at 8 a.m.; judging starts at 11:15 a.m. Registration for the Faux Paws Dog Walk will be at 9 a.m.; the walk will begin at 10 a.m. A post Easter egg hunt will also be held.