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Valley News Dispatch

Frankly, it's your chance to 'ketch-up' with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in the A-K Valley

| Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, 11:40 p.m.
“Wiener,” a Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, visited Naser Foods in Oklahoma Borough on Thursday for the first time, treating local residents to tours and  information about the unique automobile -- and free hotdogs and snacks.
Feb. 1, 2018
Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
“Wiener,” a Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, visited Naser Foods in Oklahoma Borough on Thursday for the first time, treating local residents to tours and information about the unique automobile -- and free hotdogs and snacks. Feb. 1, 2018
Siblings Nina and Henry Cortileso of Allegheny Township channel their inner hotdog with friend Blake Ehrman of Gilpin with a visit on Thursday to check out the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in the parking lot of Naser Foods in Oklahoma Borough.
Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Siblings Nina and Henry Cortileso of Allegheny Township channel their inner hotdog with friend Blake Ehrman of Gilpin with a visit on Thursday to check out the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in the parking lot of Naser Foods in Oklahoma Borough.
Oscar Mayer “Hotdogger” brand ambassadors Sofia Cacho and Sean Miller sit inside “Wiener” in Naser Foods parking lot in Oklahoma Borough on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Hotdoggers work for a year touring the U.S. and are most often recent college graduates. Cacho is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico and a recent Penn State grad and Miller is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Oscar Mayer “Hotdogger” brand ambassadors Sofia Cacho and Sean Miller sit inside “Wiener” in Naser Foods parking lot in Oklahoma Borough on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Hotdoggers work for a year touring the U.S. and are most often recent college graduates. Cacho is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico and a recent Penn State grad and Miller is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

Some Apollo folks were doing a double take this week.

A 27-footlong, fiberglass hot-dog-on-a-bun-themed automobile rolled into Naser Foods parking lot across the Kiski River in Oklahoma Borough on Thursday.

It was the first time an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visited the Apollo area.

Nasers scored the visit, thanks to a lottery system through their distributor, MDI. Nasers decided to schedule a customer appreciation day to coincide with the Wienermobile's appearance.

Customers gathered in the drizzling rain, curious to check out the iconic bright yellow-and-orange hot dog that just happens to be 8-feet wide and 11-feet tall.

"Wiener," parked at Nasers for five hours, is one of six Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles currently embarked on a one year "coast-to-coast wiener roast" promotional tour.

"I'm a customer and I thought, 'I'll go see the Wienermobile,' " A.J. Bione of Kiski Township said.

Bione recalled seeing a Wienermobile barreling down a highway in Michigan once during a road trip.

It's driven and managed by recent college graduates Sean Miller and Sofia Cacho, two "Hotdogger" brand ambassadors that take turns driving and showcasing the vehicle five days a week. (They stay the night in hotels, not the Wienermobile.)

"We spread miles of smiles all across the country," said Miller, aka Hot Diggitty Dogger.

Miller is one of 12 recent college graduates hired to represent all things hot dog related, with alot of hot dog puns thrown in.

Competition is fierce landing a coveted Hotdogger gig. More than 1,000 applicants apply annually. The dozen who are hired attend two weeks of training in Wisconsin at "Hot Dog High."

Blake Ehrman, 4, of Gilpin dressed up like a hot dog and posed for pics by the Wienermobile before going inside Nasers for a taste of the real thing. His pre-school friends did the same as they blew loudly on promotional Wiener Whistles, free for the taking.

"I'm going to eat hot dogs, and I like the whistle (on the Wienermobile)," he said.

Wienermobiles feature up-to-the-minute technology such as video monitors, a public address system, flat-screen TV and a large "bunroof" (think sunroof), a hot dog shaped dashboard, ketchup walkway, rear navigation camera, blue sky ceiling art and an official Wiener jingle horn.

The exterior includes a smile-shaped chrome grille, glossy bright orange, red and yellow colors and an oversized hydraulic door that lifts for entry.

The first Wienermobile dates back to 1936 when Carl Mayer, a nephew of Oscar Mayer, designed a 13-footlong Wienermobile that traveled the streets of Chicago.

"Jaws drop when we are driving the Wienermobile," Miller said.

"We have buns and buns of fun," Cacho said.

The puns never stop with these two.

"Franks for coming," Miller said, as visitors departed Nasers.

"We had customers calling this week and asking when is the Wienermobile coming to the store," Naser's manager Brandon Rainelli said. "It's nice to see everyone smiling."

Joyce Hanz is a freelance writer.

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