Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota

Welcome to Blue Earth Minnesota

"The land of the Jolly Green Giant"
60 ft., 8000 Lb. Green Giant
welcomes you to Blue Earth

postmarked in 2008 with 26 cent panther stamp

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Green Giant and Le Sueur are brands of frozen and canned vegetables owned by General Mills. The mascot of Green Giant is the Jolly Green Giant.

In the City of Blue Earth, Minnesota, a statue of the Jolly Green Giant is open to public view. In 1978, the town of Blue Earth, Minnesota paid $43,000 to erect a 55-foot (17 m) fiberglass statue of the Jolly Green Giant to commemorate the linking of the east and west sections of Interstate 90. It was permanently erected on July 6, 1979. The statue attracts over 10,000 visitors a year.

The 55 foot statue of the Green Giant in Blue Earth was the idea of Paul Hedberg who owned local radio station KBEW. During the summer Hedberg interviewed travellers going through Blue Earth on U.S. Highway 16 for his radio program "Welcome Travellers". At the end of each interview, Hedberg presented guests with a sample of Green Giant corn and peas which had been canned in the local Green Giant plant. A common theme arising in interviews was a desire to "see the Green Giant."

In 1977 Hedberg contacted Thomas H. Wyman, President of Green Giant, to see if the company would allow a statue of their corporate symbol to be erected along the new Interstate 90 in Blue Earth. Wyman granted permission under the condition that funds for the project were raised locally. Hedberg approached ten local businessmen with the idea and asked for $5,000 each; within a week the $50,000 had been donated.

It is mounted on a pedestal and has steps (you can see them by the giants feet on the postcard) so visitors may take a picture standing directly under the Green Giant. Blue Earth still has a canning plant formerly owned by Green Giant that continues to can corn and peas each summer.

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