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Public invited to Dum-Dums 100th birthday bash

Dum-Dums, the iconic candy brand manufactured by Spangler Candy Co., turns 100 this year and the public is invited to join in the celebration and to be part of a commemorative historical photo.

The party will happen Saturday, July 20, across from Spangler Candy Co.’s main campus, at the corner of Mulberry and Portland streets in Bryan. The public is encouraged to arrive at 1 p.m. to be part of a large group photo on the factory campus.

The photo will be reminiscent of a 1953 image taken soon after Spangler first purchased the brand from the Akron Candy Co.

After the photo is taken, the public is invited to stay for a celebration with free 100th birthday cupcakes and ice cream, special label bottles of water, bounce houses, games, food trucks and plenty of photo opportunities. Party-goers also can taste and enjoy 30 different flavors of Dum-Dums.

“Dum-Dums have been a part of so many happy memories over the last 100 years,” said Kirk Vashaw, CEO of Spangler Candy Co. “As we recognize this incredible milestone, we want to involve the public and create a celebration where people can share everything they love about Dum-Dums and our company.”

In the Spangler archives is an historic photo taken at the corner of Portland and Trevitt streets in June of 1953, shortly after Spangler Candy Co. purchased the brand. That corner — now just outside the factory’s main entrance – looks a lot different now, and company leaders introduced a plan to create a new historic image.

The 1953 image shows a large crowd of local residents gathered amidst bicycles, carriages and boxes of candy at the corner of the building, where Percy Shockley, the company’s marketing manager at the time, happily distributes Dum-Dums. The photo has been printed to nearly 7-feet square, and will be on display during the event on the side of the Spangler building near the main entrance. The company intends to mount the new photo beside the old one for visitors to enjoy.

“We’d love to see hundreds, or even thousands, of our local residents in our new photo,” said Evan Brock, VP of marketing at Spangler. “This is an historic event, and the more we have to celebrate it with us, the better.”

“Very few brands stay relevant for 100 years,” Brock continued. “Dum-Dums, with its many flavors, is one of the most recognizable candy brands by people of all ages.”

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