We Have Huggers!!

Hi Folks:

If you follow our blog you’ll know that for some 11 years we took our FREE HUGS posters to downtown Victoria and shared hugs with thousands of locals and visitors from (at least) 88 countries. Sadly, we had to quit in March 2020, and we have yet to return. Someday… In the interim we continue to give out Hug Certificates and we have sent out a smattering of Free Hugs postcards. We also continue to share hugs with loved ones where we can… but yesterday we tried something new…

What follows is not originally our idea, so to give credit where it’s due, we came across this on Instagram the other day:

We thought, “What a great idea!!” So here’s our version:

Hugging Spot

This is our first such creation; the rain will eventually wash it out and we’ll create something different, but that’s part of the fun. Now, as tempting as it might be for us to camp out by the window and silently encourage everyone who walks by, this isn’t about us. It’s about those who find themselves on this little patch of earth. We have seen several so far: the two women friends who stopped, hugged, left, then returned two more times!; the man who stopped to take a picture, then grabbed his father and pulled him in for a hug; families; children; adults; even the man who hugged himself, then kept on walking!!

So, if you’ve found this little section of sidewalk, stopped to hug someone important to you, taken a picture, or even just smiled to yourself as you walked on, you’ve left a little piece of yourself and your love in our garden. For this we thank you 🙂


Well, the rain washed out our first design, and we had to sing this song:

Hugging Spot Chalk Art Song
All the chalk is gone
(the chalk is gone)
And the sidewalk’s gray
(and the sidewalk’s gray!!)
Seems the rain came down
(the rain came down)
Washed it all away…
(washed it all away!!)
We had hoped for hugs
(had hoped for hugs)
At this end of May
(at this end of May!!)
Instead we’ll just be dreamin’
(we’ll just be dreamin’)
on this stormy Saturday!! 🌧️

But We Will Return!! 🖍️

Marcia designed this one … Ver. 2.0!!

Hugging Spot

Ver. 3!!

Ver. 4!!

Ver. 5!!

Ver. 6!!

Ver. 7!!

Ver. 7 refresh (8)!!

No rain to wash away the chalk, but it was getting faded just from traffic so we did a quick refresh.We received a few kind comments from passersby, including a young couple who stopped to chat: “So, you’re the one!” When someone stops to talk we ask them if they’re familiar with the Homecoming Memorial downtown, and explain about our Free Hugs posters, 11 years, 88+ countries, Covid, and the reason for the chalk art. With this couple, however, they asked, “That was you?” Apparently they’ve been among those who have stopped for hugs! And then he said, “You’re also the ones with the stuffed animals, aren’t you?”Yes, we have slightly over 300 kids, but how did they know that? It was Marcia who figured it out: Every December Mrs. Claus and I take Krinkles and Twinkles for a walkabout downtown so they can wave at people and instill a little Holiday spirit. It seems we’re famous, at least in certain (very, very small) circles. 🤫

Ver. 9!!

Ver. 10!! (Marcia’s design)

Many thanks to everyone who stopped, for the lovely comments! Seems we’re gathering quite a following. 🙂 Everyone who stops adds their energy to the garden, and the plants really like that.

Ver. 11!!

The latest iteration is now live, although it must be said that this one almost did Mike’s knees in (and that’s with knee pads!)

More thanks to those who continue to appreciate our efforts, including the person who said, “I always wondered how these drawings magically appeared” (magic chalk) and the young man who called out, “I just love your drawings!” Having an official seal of approval is big in our world. 🙂

No matter what screen you’re viewing this on, take a few moments to let your mind and your fingers walk the path. Relax your breathing, find your center and share a hug with a loved one (including yourself!)

P.S. Sidewalk chalk is pretty easy to find, and if you know of a little section of sidewalk that could use some attention, feel free to add your own hugging place! We are all connected, and we all need that sense of connection. 🤗

P.S. II, the sequel: In having a look around the ‘net we discovered this Hugging Spot in NYC. Also this secret Hugging Spot, hiding in the poster’s kitchen.

P.S. III And, we recently came across this Hug Zone Project, from the West Coast Hug Emporium! How awesome is that?!?!


2 Replies to “We Have Huggers!!”

  1. Diana

    This is lovely. This is a happening. This is public art. This is performance art. I also love the video of the people hugging in the IG post…all so unique, being themselves.

    1. Mike Nelson Pedde Post author

      Performance art indeed!! The plants in the garden are a most captivated audience!! (so are we )

      When we did our Free Hugs campaigns, we offered but people had to come to us. It was always spontaneous, and always beautiful.



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