Diamonds are the traditional symbol for the 75th anniversary of any special event.
Mascots are used to represent sports teams or businesses to draw attention to their activities or products.
Put the two ideas together and the result is Diamond Jim, who has been created as the official mascot for the 75th anniversary of the Crawford County Fair, which is being celebrated this August.
The idea for the mascot was suggested by Ellen Aurand and Bruce Stainbrook, members of the 75th Anniversary Committee of the Crawford County Fair. After brainstorming, Diamond Jim was chosen.
Instead of a person who wears lots of diamonds, as the famous Diamond Jim did, the Crawford County Fair's Diamond Jim wears blue jeans and country clothes — like a miner searching for diamonds.
After the mascot was chosen, George Deshner, also a committee member, took the idea to Kevin Parsons of the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Parsons, who is known for his artistic ability, said it took a while to complete Diamond Jim because the character was "too tall and skinny" in the first drawing and the committee for Diamond Jim didn't like the way he looked.
After making Diamond Jim a little shorter and heavier and "tweaking it a little," Parsons said Diamond Jim came to life.
Life-size cutouts of Diamond Jim will be used all over the fairgrounds this summer designating special events, activities and fun facts about each department, according to Phyllis Carr, anniversary committee chairwoman.
Upon sharing this concept with community groups, such as the Meadville Kiwanis Club, a contest was created in which men could compete for the title of "Diamond Jim." That idea was eventually dropped before Kenny Carr, another committee member, began collecting the necessary items to create a Diamond Jim look-a-like — including fake eyebrows, a wig and a beard.
Carr eventually chose to volunteer to be Diamond Jim and has already made appearances at a few area parades.
Diamond Jim's first appearance at the 75th Crawford County Fair will include riding in the parade on Aug. 21, the night before the fair officially begins. Admission to the fairgrounds that night will be free.