Seymore D. Fair
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|Seymore D. Fair|
|First appearance||June 1, 1983|
|Created by||1984 Louisiana World Exposition|
|Portrayed by||Jeff Davis (1983-84)|
|Alias||Seymour D' Fair|
|Home||Critter Club House|
Seymore D. Fair (a.k.a. Seymour D. Fair, and sometimes called Seymore de Faire or Seymour d'Fair) is a funny animal cartoon and costumed character who was the official mascot of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition. An anthropomorphic white pelican, Seymore typically wears a blue tuxedo jacket, large top hat, spats, and white gloves. His name is derived from the N'Awlins "Yat" phrase "See more of the fair". Seymore was the "world's 1st-ever" character mascot in the history of World Expositions.
Seymore promoted the New Orleans World's Fair globally, including in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London. During the 1984 Republican National Convention, he interacted on stage with George H. W. Bush, Vice-President of the United States and numerous Chiefs of State. In Washington, D.C., he hung out with Billy Joel at the White House entertaining wives of Russian diplomats. Seymore appeared on Saturday Night Live, shown guarding an entrance to the White House with Secret Service agents.
For the first 10 months of his existence, Seymore was simply referred to as Mr. Pelican. Later, fair management worked with a local convenience store chain to create a naming contest, which resulted in over 18,000 name submissions. Judges included local celebrities such as Angus Lind and Bob Marshall of the States Item. Other submitted names included Crazy-Laid-Back Fred, Puddin Pus, and Valdimir.
The winner of the contest was Susan Shambra, a computer operator for a local insurance company. Seymore's name, is a derivative of the local Yat dialect translation of "See More of the Fair"' as "Seymore D' Fair."
Several actors were hired to perform as Seymore during the fair, including Jeff Davis, a Southern Mississippi alumnus who also wore their school mascot for four years prior to his graduation. In 1983, Jeff traveled the world as Seymore promoting the fair and continued through the fair's closing in November 1984.
Advocacy and education
In addition to his job at the New Orleans World's Fair, Seymore engaged in numerous educational, civic, and community causes, most notably Substance Free Lifestyles, Animal Welfare, and Positive Behavior programs. In 1986 he and his Critter friends performed with First Lady Nancy Reagan in the national "Just Say No" Rally held in the Louisiana Superdome.
Inspired by the First Lady's anti-drug campaign, Seymore & the Critters joined forces with local law enforcement agencies in 1986 to produce a drug education program titled "Critters & Kids Just Say NO to Drugs". The two-part program consisted of a 45-minute live theater presentation and a post program classroom teaching unit. Approximately 100 public, private, and parochial schools from the metro New Orleans area participated with 40,000 K-6 students attended the live theater presentation. At that time, Harry Lee Jefferson Parish Sheriff proclaimed that the Critters & Kids Just Say No program was the largest singular drug education effort in Louisiana history.
Honors & awards
At the close of the fair in November 1984, Seymore was enshrined alongside Dorothy's ruby slippers in the Smithsonian Institution. He was also inducted into the New Orleans Historic Collection and the Louisiana State Archives where he is prominently displayed. Seymore and his friends known as the "Critters" were appointed "Ambassadors of Goodwill" for the State of Louisiana by then Governor Edwin E. Edwards. New Orleans Mayor Ernest "Dutch" Morial issued a proclamation in 1986 proclaiming January 24 as "Seymore D' Fair" day.
The Seymore D. Fair Foundation
To foster and support Seymore's community programs, the Seymore D. Fair Foundation was established in 2015. The foundation is a registered 501(3)c organization that supports the advancement of children's education efforts throughout the world.
A national nonprofit advocacy organization for children the Seymore D. Fair Foundation is dedicated to promoting the empowerment of people, the welfare of animals, and protection of the planet. The foundation focuses its support on committed grassroots educational efforts and organizations that rely on programs and volunteer efforts where foundation support will make a significant difference.
- 1984 Louisiana World Exposition
- Bureau of International Expositions
- Twipsy, mascot for the 2000 Hannover World Exposition
- Haibao, mascot for the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition
- Expo Museum
- "Seymore D. Fair Invades the GOP Convention", Wisconsin State Journal, August 22, 1984 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Vice President Bush and Seymore Celebrate the Fair", States Item, Times Picayune, September 6, 1984 – via email@example.com
- "Seymore makes NY Mayor Koch Jealous", States Item, Time Picayune, July 1, 1984 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Birds of a Feather. New York City Mayor Koch and Seymore", States Item, Time Picayune, April 4, 1984 – via email@example.com
- "Seymore and Atlanta Mayor Young", States Item, Times Picayune, August 24, 1984 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Fair's mascot carries message in new name: Seymore D. Fair", States Item, Times Picayune, October 25, 1983 – via email@example.com
- "Fair's mascot gets a name", South Carolina Aiken Standard, October 26, 1983 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- "A Fair Mascot", Syracuse Herald, May 26, 1984 – via email@example.com
- "Critters and Kids Say No to Drugs", States Items, Times Picayune, April 21, 1987 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Seymore and the Fair's Final Celebration", States Item, Times Picayune, November 11, 1984 – via email@example.com
- "Seymore enshrined in Smithsonian Institution", States Item, Times Picayune, November 11, 1984 – via firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Seymore D' Fair Foundation
- Seymore & the Critters
- ExpoMuseum's 1984 Louisiana World Exposition Section
- Exposición Internacional 1984 Nueva Orleans[permanent dead link]
- New Orleans | WYES Channel 12 | A Fair to Remember
- New Orleans | WDSU Channel 6 | Seymore Revisits The Fair
- WorldCat | OCLC 11349788 | by Jim Machin | Color the Fair with Seymore