Picture of the day: The Jolly Green Giant

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Well, Mom always said if you eat your vegetables you’ll grow up big and tall someday. I doubt she meant 56 feet though. The Jolly Green Giant waits for you at Blue Earth, Minnesota. He was the brainchild of a local DJ named Paul Hedberg.  Hedberg thought the statue would be a way to draw tourists off of  Interstate 90 that was being built close by. There was a Green Giant cannery that was in operation in Blue Earth, and he thought it would be a great tie in. The Green Giant icon had been a famous symbol for the green Giant Foods Company. Many people still remember the commercials where the Giant would say his catchphrase “Ho Ho Ho.” Although he seemed much taller in the ads, (I guess people always say that about celebrities when they meet them in real life.)

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The Green Giant company was less than enthused and allowed Hedberg to use the likeness for the statue but refused to donate any money for its construction. Hedberg and local businesses had to front the money. Also, no one would sell any property adjacent to the interstate, so the statute was eventually located in the fairgrounds about a mile from the interstate. The statue has an eight-foot pedestal where you can pose between the giant’s legs. The figure eventually became popular with visitors and a museum was added.  Blue Earth fell in love with their giant, and the city even gives him a giant scarf to keep him warm in the winter. (Although I’d be more concerned about his bare green legs turning blue. The original plan was to have a button where Mr. giant would say “Ho Ho Ho” and while that fell through you are still guaranteed to have a good laugh on your visit.

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