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The original Popeye statue erected in 1977 is made of bronze and is located at the Chester Bridge/Welcome Center. It was funded through various community projects and fundraisers. The project was coordinated by the Xi Upsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.
Popeye and Friends Character Trail Update
The “Popeye and Friends Character Trail” is a multi-year plan initiated to further the development of tourism in Chester, as well as celebrate the local cartoon connection with Popeye the Sailorman. This effort seeks to place larger-than-life granite statues representing characters, created or inspired by Elzie C. Segar, throughout the city. The first granite statue, “Wimpy”, was erected in 2006 in the Gazebo Park next to the old Opera House his real-life counterpart owned. “Olive Oyl”, “Swee’ Pea” and the “Jeep” followed in 2007 and now are keeping watch over all who enter the Randolph County Court House. Since 2008 “Bluto” has greeted everyone who passes the Buena Vista National Bank. “Castor Oyl” and “Bernice the Whiffle Hen” took residence on the Memorial Hospital lawn in 2009. The grassy flat between Walmart and McDonald’s became the new home in 2010 for the evil “Sea Hag” and her pet vulture, “Bernard”. In 2011 Olive’s father, “Cole Oyl”, took his place in front of the Chester Public Library, the public building Cole’s namesake built for the city just prior to his death. 2012 brought "Alice the Goon and her child" to their new home at the entrance to the Chester Center. "Poopdeck Pappy", Popeye's father, has been standing watch at the Cohen Recreational Complex since 2013. "Prof. O. G. Wotasnozzle" joined this auspicious cast of characters in 2014 and greets students and alumni at the Chester High School. "Rough House" joined the cast in 2015 at Reid's Harvest House. Popeye's "Nephews" were added to the trail in 2016 and will forever welcome all students arriving at the Chester Grade School.In 2017 "King Blozo" will arrive and stand vigil at Chester's City Hall.
All of these have been made possible by the donations of sponsors (starting at $150), and these generous donors’ names are engraved on each statue’s granite base in appreciation of their support. Sponsorships are being sought for the 2017 statue featuring King Blozo. Anyone is welcome to sponsor these statues and everyone interested in helping with this project and having themselves (their special someone, organization or business) immortalized on the statue base should contact Michael W. McClure immediately, as donor spaces sell quickly. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .