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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Stars, Rainbows, and Signs in Rutland

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Stars, Rainbows, and Signs in Rutland


Handmade rainbows and stars and I Love Rutland COVID-19 Educational signs are cropping up all over Rutland.


Michelle Fountain


April 18, 2020


Michelle Fountain

Spatial Coverage


Walking, while always a passion of mine, has become an obsession as it is one of the few things we can still do in the days of COVID-19. Rather than the quick morning and evening walk with my dog before and after work, I now work from home (I am a high school English teacher who is now teaching virtually) and take three-four walks, getting a minimum of 15,000 steps a day according to my Fitbit.

However, the scenery around Rutland City, where I live, has changed a lot; it is now full of stars and rainbows.

I first noticed this about three weeks ago. I began seeing hand-drawn rainbows on front doors in the Northeast Section of the city and then I saw them expanding to other areas as well. I couldn’t figure out what they were: was this a school project of some sort? It did not matter, they made me smile.

The answer came on April 9 in an article in The Rutland Herald. It seems that 7-year old Reese Stout took it upon herself to brighten this dark time. In the article she is quoted as saying “Everybody was sad ‘cause they didn’t get to see their friends and I just thought making rainbows would make everyone better.” At the time of the publication of that article, she had made about 60 rainbows but I think she started a movement as I have seen them in more houses and in different sizes since then.

After the rainbows came the stars. While it is not unusual to see stars on a house here or there, I suddenly realized on my many perambulations that I was seeing stars everywhere! Most appear hand-made of wood and vary in size from about two-five feet across. Some hang on doors or the side of a house, others blow in the wind from a porch, and a few are planted on lawns and they all seem to have lights. I imagine that Christmas tree lights have been put to new use on these stars.
A local printer has also joined this cause. Awesome Graphics in Rutland has started an I Love Rutland Educational Campaign with free lawn signs with phrases like: “Cherish Family Time”, “Don’t Touch Your Face”, “Thank You, Sanitation Workers”, “Wash Your Hands” with a red banner in the middle that says “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” and “I Heart Rutland, VT!” at the bottom. These signs are also popping up on lawns throughout the city.

Like the rainbows, the stars and signs make me smile when I see them during the day. However, seeing the stars all aglow at night truly does make one hopeful.

Crises bring people together and together is something we cannot be right now but we can still be unified in hope and these stars, rainbows and signs planted throughout the city for all of the many socially distant walkers to see, forge new connections.



Michelle Fountain, “Stars, Rainbows, and Signs in Rutland,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed July 12, 2024,