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Painted soldiers on guard in Ti

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership has enlisted 34 sponsors and numerous area artists to participate in its exciting new "street art" project running all summer through September along Montcalm Street and at nearby locations. "We are absolutely delighted with the response," said Sue Rathbun, the organization chairman. This project called for mustering numerous sponsors to finance the 6-foot 2-inch wooden soldier cut-outs and coordinating area artists to decorate them, and in many cases find businesses to adopt the soldiers and display them along both sides of the street from the Liberty Monument to the Heritage Museum. According to Rathbun, the interest was so high, soldier entries may be seen at several other locations around town including Fort Ticonderoga and the Ticonderoga Country Club.

Rathbun, who owns a long-established jewelery and gift shop on Montcalm Street, got the idea for this project when she kept seeing her business neighbor across the street, George DeMers of Adirondack Furniture by George (113 Montcalm Street) line up his handmade soldiers on the street each morning. She suggested the idea to the TMSP promotion Committee, and they loved it, too. With the committee's help, in a few days over a dozen soldiers were ordered. Strictly for this TMSP project, George offered a special price of $40 per sponsor for an unpainted soldier template. Normally, he sells his painted six foot soldiers for $165 and more for his eight foot ones.

Rathbun said it has been somewhat of a challenge to get enough artists to decorate all the soldiers, but luckily a few creative volunteers have stepped forward and painted several. Plans are for the soldiers to be auctioned off at a social event in the fall. Proceeds will be used to make future downtown streetscape improvements with the highest priority project to bring back the lights to the beautiful historic Liberty Monument. Details of the fall event are being developed and will be announced soon.

Ticonderoga's street art project is similar to ones featured in Glens Falls, Saratoga, Brandon, and Bennington, Vermont, where artists have decorated everything from Adirondack chairs to horses, moose, and pigs. The TMSP Promotion committee volunteers thought it quite fitting for Ticonderoga's main street and important gateway to Fort Ticonderoga to be lined with wooden soldiers.

If anyone wishes to volunteer as an artist, please contact Sue Rathbun at 585-2244. We are still in need of artists for two templates.

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