Milford's downtown fire hydrants take on new look for city's anniversary

Residents may have noticed something just a little bit different around town lately. Many of the city fire hydrants have undergone a makeover. As part of Milford’s 375th anniversary celebration, fire hydrants around downtown have been adopted by Milford citizens and transformed into colorful works of art.

Some may remember during the 1976 bicentennial celebrations, fire hydrants around Milford were painted to celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday. This year the 375th Anniversary Committee thought it would be fun to invite people to paint the hydrants to help celebrate this milestone in Milford’s long history.

More than 90 fire hydrants were available for painting, all within the original stockade footprint that surrounded downtown to ward off unfriendly incursions back in the 1600s.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Suzanne Cahill, publisher of Milford Living Magazine. “We were happy to help out in assigning the hydrants to eager painters. Everyone has had a great time with the project. It’s a treat to see what creative people we have in town.”

Bob Bogert, owner of Colony Paint, has been helping the artists with kits to help with their work. There were 25 kits available and they were well used. Painting kits made their way around town from artist to artist. “I am enjoying seeing the finished hydrants around town,” Bogert said.

Not only revolutionary — the hydrants vary in subject. Dogs, flowers, sea creatures and avant-garde paintings abound. Small as they may seem, the hydrants can take hours to paint. The results have been eye catching, and residents seeing the finished works want to break out the brushes and get painting as well.

Pilar Garces chose a centrally located hydrant in downtown Milford, near the offices where her kids Kal, Daisy and Alexandra, work. Garces wanted to create something for her kids to enjoy on their way to work every day. Her hydrant, nicknamed Magic, is a playful pup with a purple Echinacea, Milford’s new official flower.

Several young entrepreneurs who call themselves the Rock On Girls jumped at the chance to paint a hydrant. Their artwork depicts the now iconic Daisy Wheel of the Get in Touch Foundation, a local health organization. The girls have raised hundreds of dollars for the local non-profit, dedicated to educating young girls to get in touch with their bodies.

Isabella and  Soledad Meade said the fire hydrant painting was fun and that they were happy to have the Get in Touch message on it for everyone to see.

The response was so great there was a waiting list for hydrants. “Due to the popularity of the Adopt A Hydrant program, we hope to expand the program. We’ll keep everyone posted,” Cahill said.

The hydrants will be painted over at some point in the summer back to their traditional yellow color.