For half a century the Dum Dum’s Drum Man has acted as the official mascot of the Spangler Candy Company. On Saturday, August 20, Spangler’s, along with several hundred community members, gathered to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Drum Man.
The event, which also marked the 110th Anniversary of Spangler’s, included a wide variety of events that all ages participated in. The day began with photo opportunities with the “Birthday Boy”, as well as mingling and pictures with over 30 other mascots that came out to the celebration. Some of the mascots present included local school mascots from Bryan, Edgerton, and North Central, several Bryan area business mascots, superheroes, and even Muddy the Mud Hen and Spike from the Toledo Walleye.
All the mascots were more than willing to take a moment to pose with each other, as well as any child, or adult who wanted a photo to commemorate the day.
The Drum Man’s actual time of birth was in April 1966, and was developed by the Howard Swink Advertising Agency of Marion, Ohio. The mascot was created to enhance and bring life to the company’s signature product, the Dum Dum sucker. According to Spangler’s spokesperson, Diana Moore Eschhofen, in the beginning the Drum Man was a marketing plan used mainly in print materials. However, with the birth and constant advances in technology, in the early 1980’s the Drum Man came to life in the form of a mascot. The Drum Man, who has become a staple at local events, has also traveled all over the country representing Spangler’s. “The Drum Man has been from New York to California, as well as many places in between”, emphasized Eschhofen.
According to Eschhofen, the idea for the event came to light after the Williams County Public Library held a similar event to recognize the wedding of their mascots, Larry and Lilly, which was held on October 20, 2012. Eschhofen echoed, “Spangler’s pride themselves in being a driving force in the community so it was only natural that the company held the event to commemorate not only Drum Man’s 50th, but also the 110th Anniversary of Spangler’s”.
After the initial photo session, each mascot was announced to the crowd by name and organization which they represented. Following the introductions, the party officially began. Bill Martin, President and CFO of Spangler’s, proudly accepted proclamations from Ohio Governor, John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor, Mary Taylor.
The proclamations were awarded to commemorate the Drum Man’s big day, as well as the 110th Anniversary of the candy company. The proclamations were presented by Bryan Mayor, Doug Johnson, who also provided a proclamation courtesy of the City of Bryan.
Following the presentation, the crowd enthusiastically sang “Happy Birthday” to the Drum Man as his enormous cake was placed on display. After the song cake, ice cream, and water were made available to all.
The unveiling of an illustrated children’s book titled “Marching to the Beat” chronicling the Drum Man was also announced at the gathering. The book is authored by Krista Brunner, and illustrated by her sister Taylor. The illustrations depict the Drum Man taking part in local events, and interacting with local celebrities. Although not yet in circulation, the book is slated to be available in the next few months according to Eschhofen, who provided the introduction of the young ladies and details of the book. Diana encouraged those in attendance to check the companies Facebook page for further details regarding the release of the publication.
The fun filled day also included many other events. Throughout the day the mascots took part in a dance contest, as well as a variety of games that included audience participation. A bounce house and inflatable slide were also provided during the event to add to the fun available for the youngsters. The Spangler Store and Museum was also open during the course of the day so party goers were able to learn more about the company history as well as take home some of the delicious candy products.
Kent Hutchison can be reached at