Thursday, November 27, 2014
Roanoke's Vintage Dr. Pepper sign in the day
This sign was placed in downtown Roanoke by the Dr. Pepper people in the 1940's. Since then, more Dr. Pepper has been sold in Roanoke than any other city east of the Mississippi River. To go along with the drink's popularity, the old fashion sign with it's illuminated bottle cap design surrounded by chaser lights has become a popular landmark lighting up the Roanoke sky.
As old signs tend to do, the Dr. Pepper sign started to get worn down. In addition, a new multimillion dollar art museum was being built next door in 2005, unfortunately obstructing the view of what some would call a work of art in its own right.
The sign needed to be moved and refurbished. During three months in 2005, for every case of Dr. Pepper sold in Roanoke, 8 cents went into a fund to accomplish the new goal. When $30,000 was raised work was begun. Virginia Sign Works, who was also tasked with restoring the other historic downtown Roanoke sign for H&C Coffee, refurbished the sign. A crane was brought in to move the sign to a prominent and highly visible corner, atop the Legg Mason Building.
On New Years Eve in 2005, six hours before the new year would ring in, a ceremony was held for the relighting ceremony. The Mayor along with a 104 year old lifelong Dr. Pepper drinker flipped the switch for the sign which now again illuminates the skyline every night.