Downtown hydrants get facelift

Alex Stanley, of Warren, paints a mural with the theme of “A Bug’s Life” at the corner Warren and Court streets in Huntington on Friday, July 24. This is the sixth time that Stanley has participated in the LaFontaine Arts Council hydrant painting project.
Alex Stanley, of Warren, paints a mural with the theme of “A Bug’s Life” at the corner Warren and Court streets in Huntington on Friday, July 24. This is the sixth time that Stanley has participated in the LaFontaine Arts Council hydrant painting project. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

Approximately 30 fire hydrants around the downtown Huntington area are being painted this year for the LaFontaine Arts Council 2020 hydrant painting project. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 50 years of Walt Disney World.”

Artists participating in this year’s project are showcasing characters from Disney movies such as Cinderella, Fantasia, Frozen, Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid and more.

Each painter is assigned a hydrant and receives a set of guidelines for the theme of the painting and for what can and cannot be painted on the hydrant. Once their design is approved, the painting can begin.

Some painters, like Alex Stanley, of Warren, have participated in the hydrant painting project for nearly 10 years. Stanley’s fire hydrant of choice is located at the corner of Warren and Court streets, near Pizza Junction.

“This is the sixth time that I’ve painted this specific hydrant,” Stanley said. “I started doing this my senior year!”
The LaFontaine Arts Council started the hydrant painting project in 2010. It was held every year from 2010 to 2014, and then became an every-other-year project from 2014 to now. While the event is normally held in September, the arts council bumped up the hydrant project to July this year due to other events being canceled, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original due date for finishing painting the fire hydrants was Sunday, July 26, but due to weather impeding some artists, the deadline was changed to Friday, July 31.

Once the hydrants are finished, a spreadsheet of artists and completed paintings will be posted at the Huntington Arts & Entrepreneurial Center, located at 32 E. Franklin St., Huntington, so that anyone who is interested in seeing the finished hydrants may locate them and know who painted them.