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Popeye statue.

Popeye Statues

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Crystal City, Texas

The Great Depression ruined many communities across the U.S., but not Crystal City. Crystal City had a booming business in spinach -- 10,000 cans a day -- and that's because the formerly unpopular vegetable had become wildly popular in the 1930s thanks to one man: Popeye. The squint-eyed sailor man was then the most popular cartoon character in the world, and his consumption of spinach led to countless moms adding it to their mealtime menus, forcing their children to "eat your spinach."

Crystal City proclaimed itself "World Spinach Capital" and paid tribute to Popeye by erecting a full-color statue of him in March 26, 1937. It stands in front of a city building behind the police station, originally a place of honor, but now not easily seen from the main part of town (especially at night).

A second Popeye lurks inside, guarding the Chamber of Commerce.

The town holds an annual Spinach Festival in November.

Surprisingly, the Crystal City Popeye was not the first statue to commemorate a cartoon character. That honor falls to Wisconsin's statue of Andy Gump.

Also see: Popeye Statues

Popeye Statues

E. Zavala St., Crystal City, TX
South side of downtown, in front of City Hall. Take US 83 to Lake St. and turn east into town. Turn left one block east of Hwy 65/Zavala St.
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