Characters coming alive via painted fire hydrants in Hannibal

Julie Rolsen is painting the town one fire hydrant at a time.

A Hannibal business owner is doing her part to make sure the downtown area is spruced up and she's taking matters into her own hands. But the way she's going about it is definitely turning some heads.

Julie Rolsen is painting the town one fire hydrant at a time.

As traffic moves up and down Main Street in Hannibal they're seeing something a bit out of the ordinary.

Rolsen with her paint and brushes, bringing fire hydrants to life in the form of well known Hannibal residents.

"I mean Hannibal has so many famous people that are from here, or have moved here after they were born, you've got from Twain to Molly Brown to William P Lear," Rolsen said.

Rolsen said she wants to do the project to be able to draw more people to the downtown area. They have the history, they have the shops, why not give downtown visitors something else to look at.

"So people are really excited. More excited then I really thought. I'm getting a lot of thumbs up, they've been honking on the horns and it's really kind of fun," Rolsen said.

Even the director of the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce likes what she sees.

"It's not really something you would expect to see art on, so that's really a near aspect for our downtown area," McKenzie Disselhorst said.

The area that Rolsen will paint the hydrants is from North Street to Warren Barrett, the river west to 5th Street. She hopes the project will get people talking and have it be yet another reason to make a stop in America's Hometown.

It takes Rolsen three to four days to paint one hydrant. The money to paint the 36 hydrants is coming from Rolsen's own pocket.