Paint the Town returns to beautify downtowns

Published 4:53 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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The county’s premiere community summer art event packed the Big Blue Building at City County Park with families, groups of young people, government officials and employees, and so many others looking to help beautify Jessamine County.


According to Judy Woolums, this is Wilmore’s third year joining Magistrate Justin Ray’s effort to beautify the county. Individuals of all artistic abilities came together to paint banners to hang in the county’s two downtowns in Wilmore and Nicholasville. 

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“Wilmore has smaller banners than Nicholasville because our poles are smaller. It’s a great activity for parents, children, and senior citizens as well,” Woolums said.


Woolums said the banners will go up in Wilmore’s Municipal Center for the city’s 4th of July celebration and after that, they will go up to decorate Wilmore’s downtown. The posters will come down mid-august and after that, they will be available to purchase for any painters who want their banner back. They are sold on a first come, first serve basis and cost $25 per banner. Proceeds will go back into the Wilmore Community Development Board budget, since the board put in $300 to pay for 10 banners, and paints and brushes. 


Magistrate Ray said the Nicholasville posters will go up sometime in mid-July. 


The event has been going on since long before Magistrate Ray got involved. It’s been more than 20 years since it was first hosted, and besides COVID-19 years, it’s been hosted every year since.


This year, Ray said that although the afternoon session of painting was packed, the morning crowd was a bit smaller. This is likely because of the 4-H camp that is going on at the same time as the Paint the Town event. Next year, Ray said he will work with 4-H organizer Kathy Weaver to avoid 4-H dates, which are the same every year. 


One attendee, Hanna Hager, was with her child, two nieces, and her sister. She painted a blue background and had finished a small Blue Tang fish that resembled Dory from “Finding Nemo”. 


“We’ve been (to this event) several times. They love it. We used to bring older brother but he’s at a football game and now we have the little ones coming in,” she said. “My daughter wanted to do something disney-themed so we’re doing “just keep swimming,” an inspirational quote.” 


Nicholasville Police Department interns and officer Anthony Ruggiero were in attendance to paint a banner– the front depicting an NPD badge and the back of the banner depicting the copsicle truck polar bear. 


“I’m an eight-year officer and my current position is the community services position and that’s why I’m here. I’ve never done this event before, of course I’ve always known about it seeing the banners downtown but now that I’m in this position I was able to convince the chief to actually go for it and paint some of these banners. I’m enjoying it, it’s wonderful getting out here and getting to interact with the community and see all these people painting banners,” Ruggiero said.