Hampton Bay Days To Re-Release Iconic Crabzilla and Space Posters During 30th Annual Festival
--Artist John Sharp set to be in attendance and sign autographs Saturday, September 8--
Hampton, Virginia- Two of the most iconic Hampton Bay Days posters, Crabzilla and Space will be re-released September 7-9, during the 30th annual festival. Only 150 copies of each poster will be available. Cost is $30 each and proceeds benefit Hampton Bay Days.
In addition to the re-release, artist John Sharp will be in attendance on Saturday, September 8 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., to sign autographs and greet attendees. John helped create the first Hampton Bay Days poster in 1985 (the first Bay Days poster was introduced for third annual festival) with the help of the Hampton Graphics Department. Sharp created the first six Hampton Bay Days posters (1985-1990, third annual festival through eighth annual festival).
“I am flattered that Hampton Bay Days has decided to reprint the Crabzilla and Space Posters,” said artist John Sharp. “A lot of folks may not know this, but there are actually some very funny background stories attached to each of those posters.”
Sharp was working for the City of Hampton as art illustrator when he produced the first six posters for Hampton Bay Days.
“I did the Crabzilla art at home on my own time and never let the Bay Days committee see it until it was too late to make a decision on its appropriateness and sent it to the printers,” said Sharp. “It arrived just in time to be distributed to the vendor at Bay Days for sale. I was shocked the next morning when the poster was printed almost full page on the cover of the Daily Press with comments of outrage from a particular councilman and his call to have me ‘tarred and feathered’ for this obscenity. As I was preparing to leave town, the citizens of Hampton came to my rescue, and during television interviews, said they loved it and were going to buy several copies for their out- of- state friends. Later that weekend that same councilman bought six copies for himself and framed and hung one in his place of business! Even USA Today picked up the story and printed a feature about it. Crabzilla sold out quickly and I am told that they printed two more runs during Bay Days to meet the demand. The extras were not numbered or signed as was the original 500, but people brought them to me afterwards to be signed. I also remember a US soldier stationed in Guam that had read the USA Today story on Crabzilla and requested the Bay Days Committee send him one. I, being a relatively shy person, laid low for the entire weekend of the seventh annual festival and just rode it out. I knew I was not going to lose my job when the Mayor told me what a great marketing strategy I had cooked up.”
Sharp produced one more poster for Hampton Bay Days before the Hampton Graphics Department was eliminated. That poster, Space, also has a few interesting tidbits attached to it.
“My wife to be was, and still is, a Star Trek fan and I thought it would be cool to see Bay Days from the bridge of the starship Enterprise,” said Sharp. “I added her to the poster crew as the yeoman (to the right near the view screen). As a side note, I got away with adding Marty McFly, Doc, and the Delorean from Back to the Future on the top of the parking garage in this Star Trek-inspired poster. To this day, I haven't heard anyone reveal that they have found this ‘extra’.”
In 1982, Hampton Bay Days was created as a unique outlet to educate the public on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in the Hampton Roads region, as well as the rest of Virginia and Maryland. The goal of the festival is to provide an entertaining atmosphere while ultimately serving the greater purpose of highlighting aspects of the bay and promoting its upkeep and conservation.
This year, the festival will take place September 7-9, 2012. About 200,000 people are expected to attend the 30th anniversary celebration in downtown Hampton. Activities include live musical entertainment, over 100 merchandise and craft vendors, a 30-minute fireworks display, bay education area, and more.
The Hampton Bay Days schedule is as follows:
Friday, September 7- Noon - 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 8- 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 9- Noon - 6:00 p.m.
More information on the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days can be obtained by calling 757/ 727-1641 or by visiting www.baydays.com. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Hampton Visitor Center at 757/727-1102 or 800/487-8778.