Special Painter Honored At Toppenish Mural In A Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Special Painter Honored At Toppenish Mural In A Day

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TOPPENISH, WA. -- Saturday was the 26th annual Mural In A Day celebration in Toppenish. The event has been a source of pride for the community through tough times.

The painting is well underway at Mural In A Day in Toppenish. While a lot of painters spend hours creating this mural, one painter with a special history, stands out from the rest.

His paint strokes are filled with history. That's because 96-year-old Fred Oldfield has literally painted murals for decades for the community of Toppenish to enjoy. 

"It's good to be here," Fred said. "It's just great."

Fred was apart of the first ever Mural In A Day in 1989. He fell in love with the event and painted three murals all by himself. Despite  moving to the West side years ago, Fred has only missed 3 of the 26 mural paintings. Saturday the Mural Society honored Fred for his decades of work. 
"We're so tickled today to honor Fred Oldfield," Mural Society member Steve Myers said. "He's been there from the very beginning. We have a gallery in our society building that's a tribute to him."

"I'm honored," Fred said. "I'm always honored when I come to Toppenish. It's been my hometown and working working with them from the beginning, I've been very fortunate."

Fred has watched this event grow. It's a day of pride for the Toppenish community where dozens of vendors and hundreds of spectators come to watch the newest mural take shape. Some even camp out starting in the morning and see the process from start to finish.
"The mural in a day is probably the number one event in our town," Steve said. "Because it has completely changed the image of our town throughout the state of Washington, throughout the United States and overseas."

For Fred, he just hopes that he can continue to help many more murals become a reality. 

"I think that'll be the last thing I'll do," Fred said.

Painters will finish with the mural Saturday afternoon. Then Sunday workers will come by and put a protective coat on the mural to make sure it stays in top condition for years to come.
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