Get Fired Up: Fire Up the Hydrants Unveiling Just Around the Corner

This blog was written by WCO intern, Emily Swift.

Cel-e-brate good times, c’mon!! Join us in celebrating Athens’ 80th anniversary of clean drinking water delivery service from the JG  Beacham Drinking Water Treatment Plant this Saturday, October 8th, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on College Avenue by City Hall (between Hancock Avenue and Washington Street).


So how do you celebrate a water treatment plant’s birthday?? In celebration of this milestone, over 75 artists and organizations from the Athens-Clarke County community submitted their own unique designs to be painted onto fire hydrants located throughout the downtown area. Of these 75, 20 winning designs were chosen for implementation. During the month of September, selected local artists transformed ordinary, life-saving fire hydrants into truly amazing works of art. Saturday will be the grand unveiling of the painted hydrants and a great opportunity to learn more about the importance of fire hydrants and clean water, while also engaging in your community.

crop-mystery-images-jpgA sneak peak of all of the designs. This will also be used as a fun scavenger hunt activity!

What else will there be to look forward to?  Activities galore!

  • A reading of a proclamation by Commissioner Mike Hamby, recognizing the value of water in our community
  • Opportunities to meet the artists responsible for adding their own flare to the downtown hydrants
  • An artist market highlighting the works of our hydrant painters (a great place to get a head start on your holiday shopping!)
  • Arts and crafts for the kids
  • Cake for all!!
  • A water truck viewing (we depend on these trucks for maintaining our hydrants!)
  • The chance to vote for your favorite hydrant (the 3 artists with the most votes will win prizes!)
  • The H2.0 Water Walk, a 2 mile route that takes you past all of the painted hydrants (take it twice if you’re feeling extra energetic or wanting to warm up for the AthHalf! Most people in developing countries have to walk 4 miles daily to collect water for household use!)


But what if I can’t make it on Saturday and still want to see the hydrants?? Don’t worry! While we would love to have you there for all of the festivities, the hydrants won’t be going anywhere! Voting for your favorite hydrant will be open until February 2017 and ballots and maps of the H2.0 Water Walk will be located at several locations around downtown. Some of these locations include the Water Business Office, Athens Downtown Development Authority, The Classic Center, the Visitor’s Center, and participating Certified Blue  locations such as Cine, Hendershots, Ben & Jerry’s, Papa John’s, Kumquat Mae, Gyro Wrap, and Beef O’ Brady’s. Ballots and maps will also be available online at

It’s going to be a beautiful day to observe amazing artwork and learn about the importance of water to our economy, health, environment, and fire safety! We hope to see you there!



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