Richmond is getting “fired up”

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RICHMOND, Ky. ( WTVQ) – The city of Richmond is getting fired up. About 30 fire hydrants are being painted to beautify the downtown area and help support nearby businesses.

Lauren Schwenk is organizing the project with help from Rose Rex in the Downtown Richmond Main Street Coordinator.

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Schwenk came up with the idea after seeing similar walking tours in other cities. She mentioned the horses in Lexington, hands in Berea and pigs in Cincinnati.

“I love the area and I wanted to bring something nice to the area,” said Schwenk. “We’ve lived in a lot of places, we lived in four states so I just kind of wanted to take some ideas from the different places that we’ve lived in and we hope to stay in Richmond forever.”

The hydrants are being adopted by businesses and groups who then become the designers and painters.

“A fun thing to be involved in and a great way to give back,” said Karen Edwards, an art teacher who is volunteering to paint the hydrant for Tsing-Tao Restaurant.

Once complete, the hydrants will be part of a walking tour around downtown Richmond. There will be a map of the tour route with coupons to businesses that adopted fire hydrants on the back.

“Hoping that people out with this map would maybe get hungry, turn it over and see a coupon or an ad spot for a restaurant or an art gallery, go in or look for an art gallery or a restaurant go into the various businesses,” said Schwenk. “We’re really hoping to just get walking, walking around and brining some kind of commerce into our area.”

Schwenk said she had to check with the city of Richmond, the fire department and utility department to make sure it was ok to paint the hydrants.

She said it’s taken about two years to get through the red tape but she hopes to have the project finished this year.

There are still a few hydrants available for adoption and more volunteers are needed.