The Jolly Green Giant welcomes visitors in Blue Earth, Minnesota
“Ho-Ho-Ho, Green Giant!”For 85 years, this American mascot has been a Big Thing To See in the USA… on TV commercials, in print advertising, and on the packaging of some of your favorite tasty vegetables! In fact, if you watched television at all in the 20th century, you probably read the first sentence of this story in the sing-song voice of the Jolly Green Giant!
The Green Giant actually began as a vaguely scary advertising mascot of the Minnesota Valley Canning Company back in 1928.
Ad agency Erwin, Wasey & Company assigned Leo Burnett (who would later found Leo Burnett Worldwide and become a legend in advertising) to work with the canned foods company.
Burnett gave the Big Green Guy a smile, a leafy wardrobe, and perhaps most importantly, an adjective: Jolly!
By 1950, Minnesota Valley would change its company name to Green Giant. Often accompanied by his sidekick Sprout, the Giant became an icon of American grocery stores that has never been matched.
This Big Statue of the Jolly Green Giant is located in the city of Blue Earth, Minnesota, which is about 2 hours southwest of Minneapolis, and about 2 hours east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Driving a couple of hours in your rental car from either of these cities is well worth it, because it's a beautiful region and you can get your picture taken at the ankles of this Gargantuan Gardener!This Jolly Green Giant is 55 feet high, and is the Tallest Statue in Minnesota, as well as ranking amongst the Top 10 Biggest Statues in the USA!
The Green Giant Statue is located on US Highway 169, about 1/2 a mile south of Interstate 90. (From I-90, take Exit 119 and then turn South on US-169). Just turn off the highway onto Giant Drive, and follow it straight to Green Giant Statue Park, Blue Earth, MN 56013.
What's the story behind this Big Giant? Well, in 1977, local radio station owner Paul Hedberg approached the Green Giant company President Thomas Wyman to ask permission to build a statue of their company mascot. Hedberg raised around $50,000 from local businesses and the next year, Blue Earth paid to construct the 55-foot Big Fiberglass Statue. It was completed and opened to the public on July 6, 1979.
To this day, the Jolly Green Giant Statue attracts over 10,000 visitors every year!