I am easy when it comes to gifts. Give me a bag of chocolate-covered waxy donuts. Take me on a road trip. I’m a happy camper and delighted gift receiver. That is what my son and hubby did last Mother’s Day. We went to see the Jolly Green Gaint statue in Blue Earth Minnesota.
For years I have wanted to go see the big guy. Traveling south on highway 169 the Green Giant billboard teased me. Located outside Le Sueur Minnesota, the Green Giant Billboard peeks up above the trees. That is where all Ho Ho Ho Green Giant started.
The original company, Minnesota Valley Canning Company, was bought out in 1979 by Pillsbury. That started a whole lot of selling of the brand and/ or company to other companies and mergers and boring stuff. The important thing is the Jolly Green Giant still lives on.
In Le Sueur Minnesota there isn’t much left. The museum has been demolished. On another road trip to kitschy, I found the wooded Green Giant. I recently found out there is a historical plaque telling the history of the Giant. I will be heading to Le Suer soon to check that out.
To be honest, the Le Sueur’s wooden giant didn’t fill my kitschy needs, so I longed to go to Blue Earth Minnesota and see the big guy.
The Blue Earth Minnesota did fill my need for kitschy. He was big and green. A little evil grin, but what does one expect. You can climb stairs and stand between his legs for a photo opportunity. You can also lean back and take a picture of his crotch and send it to friends with the text: Guess where I am.
There is also Little Sprout has a statue there too. Little Sprout was introduced in 1973, for kid appeal. I forgot to mention the Jolly Green Gaint was introduced in 1925.
Mother’s Day wasn’t the day to go if you want to see the Museum that is next door. It was closed.
We drove around Blue Earth and found several Little Sprouts outside the business. At least a half dozen. All are painted to reflect the business Sprout was guarding.
We realized as we drove around looking at Little Sprouts that all the restaurants, the two we found, were closed. I say it again do not go on Mother’s Day.
I was glad all the restaurants were closed because on our way to the big green guy we passed a Happy Chef. Oh, the memories from my youth running up to the Happy Chef that waved a giant spoon up high. Push a button and the Chef would talk! That is an amazing thing for a child of the ’70s. Then later in the ’80s, the Happy Chef greeted the college-aged self and friends to catch a late-night meal after enjoying many spirit-filled drinks. Someone had to ask, how happy was the chef. Yep, we needed to go see the Happy Chef on this day of roadside kitschy.
Happy Chef is located outside of North Mankato off Highway 169. I couldn’t wait to see if Happy Chef talked. He did! Happy dance. He talks not by you pushing a button but by a motion sensor. Not the same as years ago but I was happy! I took pictures of course standing by him. Also, a crotch shot to texted to a friend. Yes, it was the friend that asked the Chef about his emotional well-being in college.
It was a Giant of a Mother’s Day. Pun intended.
Below are links to some of the places I rambled about and I hope you visit:
Happy Chef Restaurant
The Jolly Green Giant Historical Marker (hmdb.org)
Le Sueur, MN – Green Giant Sign (roadsideamerica.com