Stevenson attacks the bounty of food at The Pig & Pint

Cheerwine®, the legendary soft drink of the South created in the Carolinas almost 100 years ago, visited Jackson today in a grassroots movement to shine a spotlight on local legends worthy of nationwide acclaim.

The “Local Legends, National Treasures” tour brought “regular guy” Bo Stevenson, the company’s first “face” in its 98 year history, to Malaco Records before stopping in to The Pig & Pint in Fondren to try the smoked brisket nachos, pimento cheese and other favorites. On Saturday, Stevenson will visit downtown’s Big Apple Inn.

After lunch, Stevenson was to visit with Ron Chane, owner of Swell-O-Phonic and the creator behind Fondren’s First Thursday, after hearing stories of the artist, at some times known for his pothole filling crusade and others, his witty shirts.

The first leg of Bo’s tour will span several months and take him to the Deep South, with stops in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. He’ll also visit the heart of Cheerwine’s popularity with trips to the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Along the way, Stevenson will hit great BBQ joints, check out up-and-coming bands at local music venues and discover countless other local legends — the places and people that make our country and culture so rich and unique.

“Cheerwine has such an amazing and loyal fan base,” said Stevenson, “and I’m honored to be their voice as we look to uncover local legends all across the country. I’m excited to hit the road, meet interesting people, visit remarkable places and document the journey so we can share it with others.”

“Today’s consumers, especially the millennials who are so influential to our culture, have a deep appreciation for things that are genuine,” said Tom Barbitta, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Cheerwine. “Because Cheerwine is the real deal, Local Legends, National Treasures seemed natural for us to champion the little guy, the mom-and-pop shops, the incomparable experiences that define our society.”