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Dayton to Celebrate Slush Puppie Heritage with Permanent Display at Museum

Kids in Dayton will soon get a sweet history lesson at the Tharp Dayton Heritage Museum.

That's because community leaders have worked on a display that will honor Dayton native Will Radcliffe, who discovered a slush machine at a trade show in Chicago in 1970 and then gave the world his confectionery creation, the Slush Puppie.

Born in Dayton in 1939, Radcliffe's success with the now ubiquitous slushy treat sold his company for $16 million. He died in 2014 in Cincinnati and his obituary was published in newspapers across the country and even in London - all noting his Dayton heritage.

On Saturday, October 1, Radcliffe's signature Slush Puppies will be available in cherry or blue raspberry flavors at the Tharp Museum (718 West 6th Street, Dayton) when the new display is installed. It features an original Slush Puppie costime and art work.

SEE PREVIOUSLY: Slush Puppie founder's Dayton roots to be celebrated

With the help of a nano-grant from Skyward, Dayton resident Catherine Hamilton-Hicks commissioned artwork and purchased the Slush Puppie costume from eBay. She later learned that the costume was one of the first made, by costumer John Schenz of Schenz Theatrical Supplies in Cincinnati. The costume and the art made their debut at the River Cities Relay last month.

The dedication of the new exhibit coincides with the Northern Kentucky Kite Festival, which is back for its second year at Dayton's Gil Lynn Park (203 Greendevil Lane). There will be costumed characters and Dayton High School cheerleaders. Six hundred kids are expected to fly kites on Saturday along Dayton's floodwall.

-Staff report

Photo: John Schenz shows off the Slush Puppie costume (provided/RCN file)