FAIRMONT — People using the crosswalk at the intersection of Monroe and Adams streets in Fairmont might have to look twice.  That’s because a school of seven fish now appears to be swimming over the pavement, thanks to the efforts of some volunteers seeking to beautify the downtown area. On Saturday, members of Main Street Fairmont and students from Fairmont State University painted the images of the fish on the crosswalk, where, appropriately, the Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival is held each year.

The group also painted a patriotic design on the crosswalk at the Monroe and Jefferson streets intersection and on the crosswalk at the Washington and Jefferson streets intersection, beside the bridge. It’s similar to the one that was painted this summer at the entrance to Palatine Park.

Pamela Wean, chair of Main Street Fairmont’s design committee, said the fish design was in preparation for the Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival, which is held in December.

“I think it’s a welcoming entrance to the festival,” she said. “People will recognize it.”

She said the fish are not only painted in Christmas colors, but also are representative of the colors of the Italian flag.

She said the design committee’s overall goal is to beautify Fairmont and make the downtown area more appealing. Wean, who works at Pickering Associates, created the design while another Pickering employee, Jeremy Hobson, did the drafting work. Pickering Associates, Main Street Fairmont and Sherwin Williams were the sponsors.

Joel Dugan, the chair of architecture, art and design at Fairmont State University, brought Fairmont State students who are members of the American Institute of Architecture Students, a student organization.

Dugan said it was a great opportunity for the students to “create some type of lasting impact and ownership in their city.”

“I think it helps to really highlight the gem that is Fairmont,” he said.

He also thought the designs would add color and vibrance to the downtown.

One Fairmont State student helping out, Tyler Virtue, said painting the designs was a fun experience.

“I think any opportunity to give back to the community is a great one,” he said.

Wean said the involvement of the students is in line with one of Main Street Fairmont’s goals.

“Our goal is to be including Fairmont State in getting involved in projects downtown,” Wean said.

A volunteer, Nicole Scott of Fairmont, thought the designs were something unique to Fairmont.

Wean thought the designs on the crosswalks in the intersections by the bridge, meanwhile, would be especially appropriate during patriotic holidays.

“We wanted those two crosswalks to match each other and reflect the patriotism,” she said.

Wean said the opposite crosswalk at the intersection of Adams and Monroe streets would be painted next. She said that design could include the Main Street Fairmont logo and also be representative the 200th anniversary of the city.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.

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