Image credit: TMiller Everyone from the equipment builders to the canners for the Blue
Earth Minnesota Green Giant plant was on hand this past weekend to pay homage to
one of the icons of the boomer age and one frequently parodied by Gens X and Y: the Ho Ho Ho Jolly Green Giant.
Ho Ho's found
a home now in a special museum built in his honor. The museum's home is in Blue Earth, Minnesota, where one of the former Green Giant processing factories meant employment for hundreds of the town's citizens from 1926 to 1994. Blue Earth is also home to the Green Giant 55 foot fiberglass statue that brings to town about 10,000 visitors a year. (Source)
The new museum, formerly a fire station, houses the collection of Green Giant memorabilia collected by Lowell Steen, a local resident and former employee of the Green Giant company. The several thousand piece collection is joined by several other donations from residents of Blue Earth, such as a miniature scale model train, a continuous loop video of the canning process back in the 70's, and a giant mural signed by the Green Giant... "Ho Ho Ho." (Large guy, large handwriting.)
The entire museum was put together by Blue Earth citizens and its Chamber of Commerce. Though it is open to the public, the exhibits are not complete. The old canning equipment has been saved and it will be placed strategically throughout the museum, so that the whole environment resembles an old canning factory.
Though many former Green Giant workers now work for Seneca Farms, which purchased the factory from General Mills, they are still nostalgic about the big Green Giant.
As Colleen Gronewold, manager of Blue Earth's Seneca plant, told the Fairmont Sentinel, "Even though we don't produce Green Giant products out at our plant
anymore, we still have green blood."
For the nostalgic among you, here's a short video of a 1970's Green Giant corn commercial...
Ho Ho Ho...