The Man Behind the Mascot: Celebrating Vernon Grant and the 50th Come-See-Me Festival
What magical place has teddy bear tea parties, road races, gorgeous gardens, fabulous food, fantastic fireworks and a giant frog? Rock Hill, S.C. during the Come-See-Me Festival!
Every April since 1962, Rock Hill has hosted the Come-See-Me Festival. The festival was the brain-child of Vernon Grant and C.H. “Icky” Albright. This April the Louise Pettus Archives is exhibiting photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks, and many other items from the 50 festivals that have taken place since its inception.
The artistic work of the “man behind the mascot” Vernon Grant is being highlighted as well. Grant, famous for his whimsical fairy tale drawings in advertisements (creator of the Snap! Crackle! Pop! gnomes) and children’s book illustrations, supplied the drawings and inspiration for the Come-See-Me mascots and is the creator of Glen the Frog which was adopted as the official mascot in 1964.The exhibit includes Grant’s drawings relating to not only Come-See-Me but also Christmas, Rock Hill and fairy tales.
There is also a video interview with Grant included in the exhibit. The program was produced in 1976 as part of the “Video Profiles of Unique Retirees”, a project funded by the Winthrop Research Council. Dr. Neil Covington with the Department of Family and Child Development directed this project series which was hosted by Mrs. Joann Hodge. In the interview Grant speaks of his early life, his career, Rock Hill, and Come-See-Me.
The exhibit will be available for viewing through April 22 during regular Archives hours. (8:30-5:00, M-F). For more information on the exhibit or the Come-See-Me Records, please contact the Archives at (803) 323-2334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.