Volunteers wielded brushes, rollers and sprayers
to “Paint The Town” in Belleville, Ill., which
boasts the longest Main Street in America.
AkzoNobel’s Glidden Paint brand and a small army of volunteers headed for Main Street in Belleville, Ill., this past weekend to “Paint The Town.”
Glidden donated more than 4,000 gallons of Glidden Premium exterior paints as part of "Paint The Town," a community project focused on reviving neighborhoods with a large-scale exterior painting and exterior-renovation program.
Belleville, located in Southwestern Illinois near St. Louis, is recognized as having the "longest Main Street in America.” The city was expecting as many as 1,000 volunteers to participate in the event, transforming 60 business and residential properites in the heart of the city with a colorful paint makeover.
Paint The Town is a project created by Delilah Rene—known on the air simply as “Delilah”—a national nighttime radio personality heard on more than 200 radio stations in America. The event is designed to inspire listeners of the radio program and others to invest time and energy in their respective hometowns and neighborhoods and instill pride in the places they call home.
"You have absolutely given Belleville a gift like we have never received," Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said, addressing Delilah prior to a free concert for volunteers Saturday night.
Rob Horton, vice president of marketing for Akzo Nobel Paints LLC, said the company was “excited about the opportunity to help the citizens of Belleville transform their Main Street into a colorful and energetic part of town.
“It is very rewarding to be a part of a community that has dedicated preservationists, takes pride in its old and new neighborhoods, and provides a good environment for raising families,” Horton added.
In addition to Glidden, other Paint The Town sponsors included The Home Depot and St. Louis radio station KEZK-FM 102.5, which broadcasts Delilah’s show and nominated Belleville for the project.
Over the weekend, painters were expected to apply more than 4,000 gallons of Glidden exterior paint in 12 popular colors, including French grey, onyx black, cinnamon stick, red delicious, honey beige, forest green, rainforest fern, gentle fawn, dapper tan, antique beige, olivewood, and white on white. A team of employees from Akzo Nobel Paints worked side-by-side with volunteers over the two-day period.
Belleville was chosen from more than 100 interested or identified cities because of its civic pride, history of volunteerism within the community, and physical characteristics.
The city’s nearly 200-year-old history and sense of commitment on the part of the city’s leadership to its community were cited as factors in the choice.
The downtown business district—centered on a portion of the longest Main Street in America—plays host to numerous events and festivals during the year, including the annual Art on the Square art fair, the Oktoberfest, Chili Cook-Off, Gingerbread Walk, Wine, Dine & Jazz fest, parades, and other celebrations.