Four-year-old Madison Gutierrez first spotted the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile from a distance Sunday morning while on her way to Vacaville with family.
Upon returning to Napa, she got the surprise of her day when she saw it up close, and even was handed her own Wiener Whistle.
“She was going to Vacaville with her dad and she passed it and she was all excited,” Madison’s mother, Jessica Robles, said while standing outside the hot-dog-shaped vehicle that made a stop at Napa’s Walmart on Sunday afternoon. “We were coming through the front doors and she spotted it and started running toward it.”
Madison’s excitement and fascination with the rolling link was echoed by children and adults, many of whom stopped to take photos of and with the famous vehicle. It stopped in Napa to pass out whistles and coupons and give children a chance to play games and win prizes.
“It’s making magic with families and creating memories because the Wienermobile has been around for 76 years,” said Lisa Rosenblum, a “hotdogger” with Kraft Foods. “Old people remember it, their great-grandkids can come out and see it. Everyone gets a Wiener Whistle when they see the Wienermobile so they can remember it.”
Rosenblum and Kevin Jacobsen drive the vehicle around the Northwest, stopping at stores, car shows, parades and charity events. Even on their days off, the hot dog, which is filled with rows of cushy seats and has a flatscreen television in the back, is their ride.
“It’s awesome,” Jacobsen said. “We drive a 27-foot-long hot dog and everyone smiles and waves at us. It’s like a little parade every day.”
Napa resident Jay Scott said he was pleasantly surprised to see the Wienermobile while on his Sunday shopping trip. He said he’d been interested in the vehicle for some time, particularly because he dabbles in mechanics.
“We stopped by for something else and when we saw it, we were like, ‘We’ve got to take a picture,’” Scott said. “I know of it because back in the old days, I used to have a little Matchbox, so getting real close to it is cool.”
Scott said he’d previously read about the vehicle’s specifics.
“Once you see it, you’ve got to find a little something out about it,” he said.
People who stopped by were given the chance to address one of two postcards to themselves, which will be mailed back to them by the company. One postcard has the Wienermobile with the phrase, “I saw it!,” while the other shows different models of the vehicle. Today, there are six Wienermobiles on the road.
Many children who stopped by the Wienermobile on Sunday saw it for the first time. Some, including 9-year-old Erick Aguilar, weren’t sure what they were seeing at first.
“I thought it was a big hot dog,” Erick said of not realizing the Wienermobile is a vehicle.
Madison had only two words for what towered over her.
“It’s perfect!” she cheered.