New Brunswick

Defaced Woodstock rainbow crosswalk brings out 'bold' community pride, resident says

Defacing Woodstock's new rainbow crosswalk backfired on the vandal when it brought an outcry of support in the community, a resident and organizer of a pro-crosswalk rally says.

$1,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest of person who vandalized crosswalk

The crosswalk was defaced last weekend, when someone splashed white paint on the road, and most of the rainbow colours were covered up. (Kristen Stephens/Supplied)

Defacing Woodstock's new rainbow crosswalk not only backfired on the person who did it but brought an outcry from the community, a resident and organizer of a pro-crosswalk rally says.

The Main Street crosswalk was defaced last weekend, when someone splashed white paint on the road, then made sure the paint covered most of the rainbow stripes.

The town painted the crosswalk to promote pride and show support for municipalities where similar crosswalks were defaced this year. (Kristen Stephens/Supplied)

The town has since repainted the crosswalk and is offering a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandal.

Meanwhile, residents organized a rally Friday to show their support of the crosswalk.

"It's gorgeous, it is bright, it is much more bold than it was the first time around, and I think that's kind of what's happening in our community right now as well, is that there's a swell of this support happening," organizer Kristen Stephens told CBC's Maritime Noon on Tuesday.

"People are saying, 'You know what, we may have been quiet before but now we are going to be more bold.'"

Promotes pride

The Town of Woodstock painted the crosswalk to promote pride and show support for other municipalities where similar crosswalks were defaced this year, said Mayor Arthur Slipp.

The majority of residents supported council's decision to paint it, and while defacing it was someone's expression of intolerance, "the response that we're getting from the community is tremendous," Slipp said.

"We wanted to show that Woodstock is truly a welcoming community."

Stephens added that several people expressed interest in repainting the crosswalk shortly after it was painted.

While seeing it in that state was sad, whoever did it did the community a favour, she said.

"As odd as that sounds, because now the support is loud, we are organizing, we are mobilizing," she said.

"This is a community where everyone belongs and we are not going to stand back and let people be belittled and marginalized."