Dr Pepper Day highlights Roanoke’s historic love of the drink

Dr Pepper Day took over Roanoke Tuesday

ROANOKE, Va. – Ten, two, and four - that’s when people say to ‘Grab a bite to drink,’ of Dr Pepper.

And on Tuesday, the City of Roanoke embraced this idea for Dr Pepper Day.

President of Dr Pepper Park Waynette Anderson said the city has a lengthy history with the drink.

“We were the number one in consumption in 1957, 1958, and again in 1960. And to this day, we’re still one of the highest consumers per capita in the United States,” Anderson said.

But the ties go back even further than that. In fact, it all stems from a drug store in Rural Retreat - opened by Dr. Charles Pepper.

A Christiansburg man who worked for Dr. Pepper then created the drink in Waco, Texas - naming it after his boss back home, but it doesn’t end there.

“The first Dr Pepper bottling plant was built on McClanahan Street in South Roanoke back in 1936,” Anderson said.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea said he doesn’t take the connection for granted.

“Roanoke has always been on board, and has really been a tremendous advocate for Dr Pepper - we drink a lot of Dr Pepper in our city,” Lea said.

Lea declared October 24 Dr Pepper Day in honor of the ten, two, and four you see on the Dr Pepper sign in Downtown Roanoke.

“I wanted to give them a proclamation, thanking Dr Pepper for their commitment to our community,” Lea said.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people lined up for free Dr Pepper merch.

Wanda Braden has been coming for four years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve gotta come get my Dr Pepper and my shirt,” Braden said.

For Anderson, Dr Pepper Day is a way to thank the Roanoke community.

“We like to come together as a community and just really thank everybody for their support,” Anderson said.

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.