STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — You’ve seen nutcrackers and Easter eggs line the streets of Steubenville.
But now the sidewalks are packed to the gills with statues that celebrate its status as a river city.
The Catfish Crawl is the newest and most aquatic art project Steubenville has attempted so far, with artists taking a turn painting the sea creatures that are definitely not to scale.
Gretchen Nelson of the Steubenville Cultural Trust says the idea came to her when she saw unpainted catfish statues at a trade show in Atlanta.
With Steubenville’s proximity to the Ohio River, she and her family decided to advertise for artists to submit designs for each.
The Nelsons are also responsible for the Nutcracker village, and she says their revitalization work started initially for their children.
“We want the town that they’re from to be something that they’re proud of. And so I think that’s the main motivation that a town that we love to live in, people also will love to visit and, you know, create a town that people will love and take care of.”Gretchen Nelson, Vice President, Steubenville Cultural Trust
The whiskered fish aren’t just there for decoration…they also have something to teach us.
Next to each one is a sign that gives a fact about why both catfish and the Ohio River deserve our ecological thanks.
Nelson says there are still about 10 more fish the artists haven’t got a hold of yet.
So don’t be surprised if some Christmas catfish lure you away from nutcrackers this December.