i ·con ·ic /Ä«ËˆkÃ¤nik/adjective – of, relating to, or of the nature of an icon
Minneapolis, MN ”“ Summer 2008
Since the early 1950’s, anyone who has given the comics a cursory glance in their morning paper has most likely read the work of Charles M. Schulz. Of the many great experiences offered by the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), certainly the Peanuts characters are the most iconic. The communities have embraced this iconography in some very unique ways throughout the years, not the least of which are the oversized character statues that show up in and around the cities.
Charlie and Lucy greet outdoor enthusiasts attending classes at the REI Outdoor School in Minneapolis. These fiberglass statues are not unlike the various “Cow Parade” installments begun in Chicago and replicated across our home state many times (Frogs in Erie, Mules in the Lehigh Valley, and even Bears in Warren County). What is so interesting about the Peanuts, is their unabashed reverence of their hometown icon.
Pennsylvania is rich with our own stories, innovators, products, and icons. Some, like Crayola in Easton, ZIPPO in Bradford, Yuengling in Pottsville, and Heinz in Pittsburgh, are visible and celebrated with similar veneration. Other smaller, potentially less known icons are craving the same attention and could be the photo opportunity that draws visitors into your business district.
As DCED pushes the D2PA (Discovered and Developed in PA) Program to inspire new creative and entrepreneurial endeavors, let’s find ways to celebrate the Wooly Willies (in Smethport), Channel Lock (in Meadville), the Victor Mouse Trap (here in Lititz), Whirley travel mugs (from my hometown of Warren), or the many other great icons of Pennsylvania.