Wienermobile on the roll
• Photo gallery: Wienermobile visits isles
By Katie Urbaszewski
Advertiser Staff Writer
Two distinct sounds hail the arrival of the Oscar Mayer "Wienermobile" — their classic jingle and the cacophony of Wiener Whistles.
So it was yesterday as the Wienermobile arrived in Hawai'i by ship for a three-week Aloha Tour.
"This is what it sounds like everywhere we go," said Ben Kopish, a "hot-dogger," one of the crew that accompanies the Wienermobile.
Kopish and fellow hot-dogger Derek O'Leary handed out whistles to the 14 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Hawai'i who presented a giant lei to the Wienermobile at Honolulu Harbor. The excitement was audible halfway down the pier.
The vehicle will be making visits to Sack 'n Saves, Foodlands, Tamura's, 7-Elevens, Safeways, Times Supermarkets, military base commissaries and Don Quijotes throughout O'ahu, grilling hot dogs provided by the stores at about a third of their stops.
Children draped the lei along one windshield wiper to the other, giggling and pointing out it looked like the Wienermobile was smiling. Once they posed and shaka'd, taking photos in front of the vehicle, all 14 excitedly squeezed in wall-to-wall to get a better look at the interior.
The vehicle, which can blast the Oscar Mayer jingle in 21 different genres ranging from a dance remix to a country and western version, offers participants rides around the block and a history of the Wienermobile.
Oscar Mayer has been touring the country with the Wienermobile since 1936, and this is its first visit to the Islands in several years. The company selects a few college students for each new tour who spend a year traveling across the country making promotional appearances. The Wienermobile traditionally makes appearances at major American events, such as the Academy Awards and the World Series.
The model in Hawai'i this summer, out of six other Wienermobiles also touring the country, was just completed last month, and has clocked only 330 miles so far.
Oscar Mayer extended its contract with Kopish, and the Aloha Tour marks his second tour piloting the vehicle.
He said he hasn't gotten sick of hot dogs yet.
"When you show up in a giant hot dog, and people are smiling and waving, it's hard to get tired of that," he said.