The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will make its first-ever appearance in this area Saturday as Cruisin’ on Main takes to the streets.

The next-to-last event in the Cruisin’ series kicks off Friday with a block party in Kmart’s parking lot and winds down with the arrival of the oversized, drivable hot dog. This month’s featured vehicle is the Camaro.

The Wienermobile has been a trademark for Oscar Mayer wieners since 1936 and travels across the country for displays and car shows.

Organizers of Cruisin’ on Main are excited about the attraction and hope to draw large crowds for this month’s show.

“It’s sometimes years before you can get it on the schedule,” said Tonya Lewis, chair of the Cruisin’ on Main committee. “We tried to get it last year but they were already booked. We were fortunate to get it this year.”

The first Wienermobile was created in 1936, by Carl R. Mayer, the nephew of the Oscar Mayer wiener’s founder. Its first trips were around the streets of Chicago. The popularity of the vehicle, which is 27 feet long and 11 feet high, prompted a few other models to be created. There are currently seven models in existence.

“This is a rare vehicle to see. There are very few of them and they’ve been around a long time,” said Steve Berry, one of the Cruisin’ on Main committee members. “This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The Wienermobile has appeared in two movies — “Ladybugs” starring Rodney Dangerfield and “Another You” starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. In 1988, the Wienermobile was driven for a test lap at the Indy 500 by NASCAR driver Al Unser Jr. It is reported to cruise at 90 miles per hour.

“This event is for adults as well as kids,” Lewis said. “We have a lot of adults who have taken an interest in bringing the Wienermobile to London. This appeals to the young and the old and we hope that people will come out for this. Bring your cameras and have your picture made in front of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.”

And participants’ knowledge of the Oscar Mayer products, especially the jingles and the Wienermobile, could win them prizes if they play Cruisin’s trivia game.

“We’re going to do a trivia game about the Wienermobile,” Lewis said. “We have some flyers distributed around town with some facts about the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and some of those facts will be in the trivia questions.

“We will also have a raffle on a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a raffle for a 50-inch TV,” Lewis said. “We encourage everyone to bring their lawn chairs and join us.”

Friday night’s block party at Kmart kicks off at 6 p.m. JP Mac will perform a blend of oldies, soul, rock and roll throughout the evening.

Camaros will be displayed around the Laurel County Courthouse all day Saturday. Music will be provided by DJ Iceman, who will play favorites from the 1950s through today. The North Laurel High School Dance team will perform on stage in front of the Laurel County Courthouse. Hawg Heaven will serve outside on Main Street while Weaver’s Hot Dogs will serve hot dogs, hamburgers and other favorite menu items to customers who want to take a break from the heat. Cruisin’ on Main T-shirts will also be available at a special price as the end of the car show season draws near.

“We will be selling the Cruisin’ on Main T-shirts at a discounted price. Rather than $10 each, this month the shirts will be two for $18 or $9 each,” Lewis said. “There will be door prizes and lots of things going on, so we just want to encourage everyone to come out and have a great time.”

Staff writer Nita Johnson can be reached by e-mail at njohnson@seninel-echo.com.

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