Oscar Mayer Wienermobile lands in Gonzales

Brandie Richardson BRichardson@weeklycitizen.com
Jumbo Dog John and Spicy Mayo Mayra

After making its way across the country, the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile made a pit stop in Gonzales last week at the Rouses on Airline Highway.

Wienermobile pilots John Craft and Mayra Martinez, or better known by their hotdogger names of Jumbo Dog John and Spicy Mayo Mayra, gave tours of the vehicle and took plenty of pictures of passerby-ers in their many hotdog cutouts. They also handed out stickers and the famous Wienerwhistles.

"A lot of people love to see this, it has been around for such a long time," Martinez said. "It brings back a lot of memories for the older generation and of course we love to make new ones with the younger generations."

Their 2012 Wienermobile, called "I Wish I Were", is one of six vehicles driving around the country. It measures to be 60 hotdogs long, 24 hotdogs tall and weighs right at 140,500 hotdogs heavy.

The duo's stop in Louisiana was part of their year-long journey across the country, not only promoting Oscar Mayer, but keeping the 80 year old tradition alive by "spreading smiles across miles," Jumbo Dog John said.

For Martinez, one of the best things about being a Winermobile pilot is getting to be apart of the many memories and traditions created by families in each city they visit.

"We get to meet thousands within a week. Everyone has a different story, we always hear how the Wienermobile has impacted their lives, how it brought so many memories and how they love to create new memories with their kiddos," she added. "It definitely brings a smile to my face because I love seeing them cherish such personal moments with me. They really open up to you. It actually creates an impact on myself as well."

After traveling 500 miles a week for the last year, the hotdogger's tour will end in June. So far, Craft has been through four time zones and stopped in nearly 30 states.

Also in the area last week was Mr. Peanut and the Planters Nutmobile. Though the Peanutters didn't quite make their way to Ascension, they were just a parish over in Baton Rouge for the annual Wearin' of the Green St. Patrick's Day Parade, along with the Wienermobile.

"We are brining a face to Planters," said Peanutter Lexi Salloun. "It's a company and a brand that people have loved for so long and it really makes people's day to see a 24 foot-long peanut parked outside of their grocery store."

The four year-old motorized peanut, driven by "Lightly Salted Lexi" Salloun, Brittany "Peanut Britt-le" Colvin and "Salted Caramel Colin" Lester, weighs 2.4 million peanuts, is 175 peanuts high and 375 peanuts long. It includes a wind turbines and solar panels that power an external battery that sources all electricity inside and runs on biodiesel fuel, which can be made from peanut oil.

"We like to say that the Nutmobile can run on peanut oil," Colvin said.

Much like team on the Wienermobile, the Nutmobile team is also on a year-long tour that began in June. Colvin, Salloun and Lester have each been to 25 states so far on their journey, which will end in Verona, Wis., where Planters is headquartered at.

"We have seen a lot of cool places," Lester added.

"I love seeing peoples reaction when they see the Nutmobile," Colvin said. "We are in a fortunate position where since the Nutmobile is still relatively new, a lot of the encounters that we have is everybody's first time seeing the Nubmtobile."

Next stop up for the hotdog on wheels is Dallas,Texas, and Fayetteville, Ark., for the world's largest peanut.