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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

The Wienermobile, Bootmobile, and other BIG Things on Wheels This Year!

Of course, you are all familiar with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, that icon of American pop culture history. Personally, I think it’s adorable. Not only is this BIG hot dog on the road this summer and fall, but other BIG things as well, including the L.L. Bean Bootmobile, the world’s largest potato, and the Butterfinger van. I know you’re intrigued, so read on!

L.L. Bean Bootmobile

When we went to Maine two years ago for my college (cough)-tieth reunion, we stopped at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport. The Boy hammed it up for the camera, posing under the 15-foot boot as if he would be smooshed.

This year, the company is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and taking its 13-foot Bootmobile around the northeast (ME, MA, NY, VA) and the midwest (IL). We found out that we are going to MISS it when it’s in NYC, because that’s the week we’ll be in Florida. We are DISTRAUGHT. (And by “we,” you know I just mean “me.”)

LL Bean

The L.L. Bean Bootmobile

Hopefully, you’ll be able to catch it, and report back to me with photos. Track it on its website or the L.L. Bean Facebook page.

Upcoming appearance dates for the L.L. Bean Bootmobile:

6/16-6/17 – Boston, MA

6/22-6/23 – McLean, VA

6/29-6/30 – New York, NY

7/4-7/7 – Freeport, ME

The World’s Largest Potato

This is fun! The world’s largest potato is touring the U.S. to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary. The Famous Idaho® Potato Truck is traveling coast to coast in 2012, stopping in large cities, supermarket parking lots, and at special events. Currently, the truck is on the East Coast, and although we missed the New Jersey appearances, it’s likely we’ll be able to catch it in Orlando on the 25th!

Idaho potato

The world's largest potato, on tour!

On the flatbed sits the super-sized spud — a 12,000-pound russet potato, equal to 32,346 medium-sized potatoes. Of course, it’s not a real potato. This replica is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which weighed 11 pounds.

The website and Facebook page provide dates and locations for the immediate future, but it’s constantly updated as they get permits for showing up at places with a six-ton potato.

Butterfinger BARmageddon News Network (BBNN) van

BUTTERFINGER® candy bars…mmmmmm. The company’s new promotion is playing up the end of the world, counting down the days to the Mayan prophecy predicted for December 21, 2012. The Butterfinger BARmageddon News Network (BBNN) van is on a nationwide tour to collect evidence that the end is year, like crop circles and UFO sighting locations.


The BARmageddon van

I wish they would have invited me along, because the BBNN news van is stopping at the country’s  kitschiest roadside attractions and unexplained mystery sites, including Roswell, the Petrified Forest in AZ., the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK., and the world’s largest basket in Newark, OH.

You can watch the footage of their interviews and stories here. If you spot the van, say “hi” and try a sample of Butterfinger Bites.

Upcoming appearance dates for the BARmageddon News Network van:

6/17 – Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK
6/22 – Dallas, TX
6/29 – Roswell, NM
6/30 – Albuquerque, NM
7/1 – Grand Canyon, AZ
7/3-7/4 – Las Vegas, NV
7/7 – Los Angeles, CA
7/11-7/15 – San Diego, CA

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

I didn’t realize that there are currently eight active Wienermobiles, with each assigned to cover a different part of the U.S.  The first Wienermobile was created in 1936 by Oscar’ Mayer’s nephew, Carl Mayer. The design has changed over the years, but the main component, a hot dog on wheels, is still part of its charm.


The Wienermobile. Photo credit: All rights reserved by kb.ultra

Drivers of the Wienermobiles are known as Hotdoggers. Unfortunately, I do not qualify for the position, which is only open to college seniors. You can keep up to date with Wienermobile appearances on Facebook, Twitter, and the Hotdogger blog. Regrettably, the company did not respond to my requests for upcoming appearance dates or photos.


  1. Mike said,
    June 14, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    All I heard was “Butterfinger Bites”…… 🙂
    Just kidding. Fun post.

  2. June 14, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    That potato needs to stop in Tampa!!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      June 15, 2012 @ 8:33 am

      Come over to Orlando to see it on the 25th! We’ll be there!

  3. Dominique said,
    June 14, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

    I actually got to ride in the “shotbun” seat of the Wienermobile that visited Detroit last year…and got a quick tour of it a few years ago when I spotted it outside of the hotel when I was a Blogher (yup, wrote about it both times). The Detroit thing happened because I started asking for the Wienermobile to come here on Twitter…a couple other Detroit-area bloggers took up the cry…the Wienermobile Twitter account answered us back. The Wienermobile was already scheduled to come to Detroit at that point, and the Oscar Mayer folks ended up inviting the group of us and our families down to ride the Wienermobile. The four of us bloggers ended up running an Oscar Mayer giveaway as well.
    You can also check out the Hotdogger blog, but I didn’t see a schedule of upcoming appearances there or on the Oscar Mayer Facebook page. Maybe you could try a sending them a message on their FB page or via Twitter.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      June 15, 2012 @ 8:32 am

      You got to ride shotbun?!? That is SO cool! I’m jealous.
      I tried contacting them through several channels, actually. The only official response was on Facebook, and I was told to follow the @Wienermobile Twitter account for schedule updates. It hasn’t been updated in about two weeks.

      • Dominique said,
        June 15, 2012 @ 10:20 am

        We were all contacted by the PR company handling the Wienermobile’s Detroit appearance after our little conversation on Twitter.
        Shotbun was pretty cool…I’ve got the pix to prove it 😆

  4. Jes said,
    June 15, 2012 @ 2:32 am

    I saw the LL Bean boot! Unfortunately it wasn’t under the best circumstances. I was at a fuel station in Auburn, ME and it came flying around the corner nearly taking me out. It was also accomanied by a police car and SUV. The SUV is a pretty sure sign that something “not good” was happening. I was never able to find out what happened, but it sure was a unique experience with the boot! It’s too bad you’ll miss it, definitely one of the stranger looking vehicles I’ve ever seen. Happy travels!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      June 15, 2012 @ 8:28 am

      Wow; that’s quite a story! You’ll never look at those boots in the catalog the same way again!

  5. June 18, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    Awesome blog mate! I’m officially a fan!

  6. June 19, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    Ah, it’s going to be here in July and I won’t be able to make it!!! 🙁

  7. Lily said,
    June 20, 2012 @ 4:54 am

    Nice post with funny shots :))))))

  8. Lily said,
    June 25, 2012 @ 5:17 am

    Oh my 🙂 I’ve never imagine that I would ever be able to stay tuned with such spectacular things!