Rebecca Featherstine-Murrell and her daughter, Natalyn, 3, check out the Weinermobile menu during a visit by the Oscar Meyer rolling hot dog, Wednesday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
An icon of American good mood food has landed in Roswell.
Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile made one of several scheduled pit stops at the Roswell Public Library, Wednesday. A hot dog-shaped vehicle with California plates that welcome onlookers to RELSHME, the Wienermobile was parked just across the street from the library off of Fourth Street.
The Wienermobile is just one of six such vehicles that travels around the continental U.S. spreading what Oscar Mayer proclaims as “good mood” to all.
“The Wienermobile is always on the road,” said Yoli Bologna, a “Hotdogger” who drives the Wienermobile along with fellow Hotdogger, Tailgatin’ Traci.
Otherwise known as Yoli Borrego and Traci Johnson, respectively, the Hotdoggers are in charge of touring the American Southwest in the Wienermobile.
This year marks a special occasion for the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. The contraption debuted in 1936 — making this its 75th year as one of the food supplier’s witty marketing strategies. The Wienermobile may be as recognizable as catchy jingles that proclaim — and spell — bologna’s first and last name; and another in which a desire to be a hot dog is expressed.
To commemorate 75 years, pictures of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile’s many incarnations over the years were displayed next to the vehicle. Surprised pedestrians ran up to the Wienermobile as the Hotdoggers awaited children to wrap up story time at the library and come have their picture taken next to the vehicle. Some adult visitors stood next to the Wienermobile and, with a childlike smile, had their photograph taken by a Hotdogger.
Others took pictures of the iconic vehicle with their cell phones.
“Generations … have grown up with the Wienermobile,” Borrego said. “No matter where (we) go, everyone’s excited to see it.”
Some onlookers — especially children — were eager to see what’s inside the huge steel hot dog on wheels. Ironically, it isn’t hot dogs. The Wienermobile is equipped with six mustard and ketchup colored seats, blue sky ceiling art, condiment splattered carpet and a hot dog-shaped dashboard.
The Wienermobile horn plays the official Wiener Jingle.
Although the Wienermobile is not equipped to make and serve food, it can typically be found at events where hot dogs are grilled and sold, such as at fairs, festivals and parades.
Despite the fact that there are six Wienermobiles that are in constant motion, few people get to see one, Borrego said. Such was almost the case with Eunice Thaeler.
Born the same year as the Wienermobile, Thaeler had never seen the hot dog icon.
“I didn’t realize it was real,” Thaeler said. “I’m not sure I even knew (the Wienermobile) traveled around.”
Thaeler said she typically spends Wednesday mornings at the library with her granddaughter, 3-year-old Ruby McLean, where both enjoy story time.
“This is clever,” Thaeler said, gazing at the Wienermobile with awe. “I hope a lot of people get to see it. .. I hope (Ruby) remembers it.”
Borrego and Johnson, both 22 years old, have been traveling since June and will wrap up their Hotdogging days June 2012. Just fresh from a stop in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe region, the Wienermobile will visit Graves Family Farm, 6265 Graves Road, for a Halloweenie Roast on Friday, from 6-9:30 p.m.
The Wienermobile will also make a pit stop during the Roswell Youth Soccer League Game Day at 1612 W. College Blvd., Saturday, from 7 a.m. to noon.
The Wienermobile’s last stop in Roswell will be at Farmers Country Market, 2800 N. Main St., on Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.