Artist-designed rain barrels will be the centerpiece for a Gallery Hop event at Cheapside Park on Friday.
The environmental-awareness group Bluegrass PRIDE will celebrate the 2012 Roll Out the Rain Barrels program with a reception, its ninth annual, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in downtown Lexington.
The reception will feature live music by The Big Maracas, food and beverage vendors, and the opportunity to view all of the 2012 rain barrels and to meet the artists who decorated them. The rain barrels also will be available for purchase. Any remaining rain barrels will be auctioned later on Ebay.
"PRIDE's Rain Barrel Reception is always a fun event, but we're planning to go above and beyond to throw a party that will top the ones we've held in previous years," said Amy Sohner, executive director of Bluegrass PRIDE. "It's going to be a great event."
Each year, Bluegrass PRIDE, a non-profit organization devoted to providing environmental resources and information to Central Kentuckians, invites local artists to paint a selection of rain barrels to raise money and to promote its rain barrel program.
This year's artists include Sonja Brooks, Julie Coy, Ashley Davis, students at Meadowthorpe Elementary School, Roni Gilpin, Enrique Gonzalez, Miles Johnson, Claire Pope, Niah Soult, Adan Utrera and Stephen Wiggins.
You can vote for your favorite rain barrel at Bgpride.org. The artist whose barrel wins the most votes will receive the Earth Artist Award.
Rain barrels connect to a home's downspout and collect water from gutters. They help prevent water pollution and flooding, and provide a ready source for watering flowers, gardens and yards even during droughts. The organization sells rain barrels starting at $75.
The organization also conducts programs in cellphone and battery recycling, proper hazardous waste disposal, rain gardens, and litter removal.
Candace Chaney is a Lexington writer.