The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile made its way to North Little Rock Sunday as it visited the two Wal-Mart Supercenters, first stationing itself at Maumelle Boulevard and then finishing the afternoon at the McCain Mall.
While much of the early part of Sunday was filled with clouds and rainfall, the latter part of the day brought the sun out and people began milling around the mobile shaped like a giant hot dog on wheels.
The mobile spent much of the week at Little Rock-area locations and then will trek elsewhere in the United States.
The Wienermobile came to Central Arkansas through Oscar Mayer employees Abraham Luna and Emma Cuellar, both natives Texans.
They started with the company last June and their journeys with the Wienermobile will end this summer.
“We usually travel to a different city every week,” said Luna, who says his nickname is ‘Ab the Ham.’ We travel all over the hot dog highway.”
Luna and Cuellar drive one of six Wienermobiles that go to various locations across the country. The chassis they drive concentrates in the central southern region, which primarily includes Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and other areas in the South Central part of the country.
The working duo are on the road seven days a week but get two days off per week. On their two off days, they have to drive the Wienermobile to their destination of pleasure.
“If we go to a movie, we drive the Wienermobile,” Luna said.
Oscar Mayer has them drive the Wienermobile by day and they get to stay in their own hotel rooms at night, Luna said.
Luna said they were recruited as the Oscar Mayer Company goes across college campuses looking for recently graduating seniors to take the jobs that last one-year.
While some people were wondering if the Wienermobile had hot dogs to give away, many people were pleased to learn the mobile is a site where visitors are given small whistles shaped like Oscar Mayer hotdogs.
The Wienermobile is a truck chassis that can go pretty fast.
“It is like a big van or SUV,” Luna said. “We usually drive at 65 mph because that is the speed limit. But we can haul buns if you will.”
During one of his days off, Luna said he found his visit to the Clinton Presidential Library very interesting.
“I really liked the Presidential Library,” Luna said. “We spent four hours there, reading and then going shopping. It also has a nice trail where I could do my running.”
Cuellar said all “Brand Ambassadors” go through a two-week training period in Madison, Wis.
“It is two weeks of training at Hot Dog High,” Luna added.
Both Luna and Cuellar said they love watching the smiles and reaction of children approaching the Wienermobile.
“Everyone loves the Wienermobile,” Luna said. “It is nice to see how it puts a smile on everyone’s face. It is quite the showstopper. Everyone is always taking pictures and placing them on places like Facebook.”
Luna said he sees a lot of adults smile when they see the Wienermobile because it has been around for a long time.
“We see so many people grow up with the Wienermobile so when they see it, it brings back memories,” Luna said.
James Bogus of North Little Rock said he saw the Wienermobile from the street near the McCain Mall and said he had to go back and look at it.
“I grew up with Oscar Mayer wieners and the Wienermobile,” Bogus said. I grew up in Chicago. I used to see it all of the time.”
Bogus said seeing the Wienermobile brought back memories and some of the older cartoons and jingles associated with the Oscar Mayer wiener.
“I was with a friend in their car and when I saw the Wienermobile, I said, ‘Stop, stop. That’s the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. I am amazed. I never thought I would see it here. I never thought I would see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It brings back memories of my childhood days.”
Ethan Davidson of North Little Rock got a chance to sit inside the large hot dog on wheels.
“Pretty cool,” said Davidson. “You don’t usually see a hot dog driving down the road.”
Brock Bivens of Sherwood saw Wienermobile with his brother, Sawyer.
“It is awesome,” Brock said. In the front is something that looks like a hot dog sitting up and a giant TV when you walk in.”
Sawyer added, “The outside is a hot dog on wheels.”