March 8th, 2024

Blue Earth, Minnesota, a quaint town nestled in Faribault County, holds a delightful secret along the I-90 corridor—a 60-foot tall statue of the Jolly Green Giant. This iconic figure is not just a landmark; it’s a symbol of community pride and a tribute to the town’s rich agricultural heritage. Let’s dive into the fascinating history of Blue Earth, the story behind the towering Jolly Green Giant, and why this charming town is a must-visit destination for travelers and camping enthusiasts.

A Brief History of Blue Earth

Founded in 1856, Blue Earth was named after the Blue Earth River, which in turn was named for the blue clay found along its banks. The town's development was significantly influenced by its strategic location at the convergence of major transportation routes, which made it a vital hub for trade and agriculture. Over the decades, Blue Earth evolved from a frontier settlement to a vibrant community known for its friendly atmosphere and scenic landscapes.

The Birth of the Jolly Green Giant

The story of the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth begins in the mid-20th century. The Green Giant Company, originally founded in Le Sueur, Minnesota, was looking for a way to promote its canned vegetable products. In 1928, the company introduced the Green Giant character, which quickly became a beloved mascot recognized nationwide.

Fast forward to 1978, the local radio personality Paul Hedberg came up with an ambitious idea to commemorate the completion of the I-90 freeway. Hedberg proposed erecting a giant statue of the Green Giant as a tribute to the area’s agricultural significance and as a way to attract travelers. The community rallied behind the idea, and the 60-foot statue was erected on the southern edge of Blue Earth, standing tall as a welcoming beacon for those driving along I-90.

The Jolly Green Giant Statue

Constructed in 1979, the Jolly Green Giant statue is an impressive sight. Made of fiberglass and steel, the statue was designed to withstand the elements and stands proudly with his hands on his hips, a broad smile on his face, and his iconic leafy attire. The statue quickly became a beloved landmark and a source of local pride. 

 This impressive statue, made of fiberglass and steel, is a beloved landmark. Fun fact: locals even created a mock Minnesota driver’s license for the Giant, listing his height at 60 feet and weight at 8,000 pounds, with driving restrictions: bridges!

Over the years, the statue has drawn thousands of visitors to Blue Earth, becoming a must-see roadside attraction. It’s not uncommon to see families and travelers stopping to take photos with the giant and to learn about its history.

The Green Giant Museum

In addition to the statue, Blue Earth is home to the Green Giant Museum, located within the Blue Earth Community Library and Fossil Discovery Center. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Green Giant brand and its impact on the local community. Visitors can explore exhibits featuring vintage advertisements, memorabilia, and artifacts related to the Green Giant Company.

The museum also highlights the broader agricultural history of the region, showcasing the evolution of farming practices and the importance of agriculture to the local economy. It’s a treasure trove of information for history buffs and anyone interested in the story behind one of America’s most recognizable mascots.

Exploring Blue Earth

Beyond the statue and the museum, Blue Earth itself is a delightful town with much to offer. The town’s charming downtown area features a variety of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings that invite visitors to take a leisurely stroll and soak in the small-town ambiance.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Blue Earth is a fantastic destination. Just a block from the museum, you’ll find a campground located on the fairgrounds property. This convenient location makes it easy to explore the town’s attractions while enjoying the great outdoors. The campground offers modern amenities and a peaceful setting, perfect for a relaxing camping trip.

Blue Earth also boasts several parks and recreational areas, including Riverside Park and Putnam Park, which offer scenic trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and birdwatching. The Blue Earth River provides a picturesque backdrop for various outdoor activities, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Why Visit Blue Earth?

Blue Earth is more than just a stop along the highway; it’s a destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are a few reasons why you should plan a visit:

-The Jolly Green Giant: The iconic statue is a fun and memorable attraction that you won’t want to miss.

-The Green Giant Museum: Learn about the history of the Green Giant brand and its impact on the region.

-Charming Downtown: Explore local shops, dine at quaint restaurants, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

-Camping Opportunities: The convenient campground on the fairgrounds property makes it easy to enjoy the great outdoors while staying close to town amenities.

-Outdoor Activities: Enjoy hiking, fishing, and birdwatching in the beautiful parks and along the Blue Earth River.

Blue Earth, Minnesota, with its towering Jolly Green Giant statue, rich history, and charming community, is a gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique road trip stop, Blue Earth offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and experience the charm and hospitality of this delightful town. The Jolly Green Giant and the friendly folks of Blue Earth are ready to welcome you!

Happy Travels!

Campervans for sale: In stock camper vans HERE

DLM-Distribution / Campervans is a licensed manufacture and dealer located in Lake Crystal Minnesota serving clients around the country

Contact Dave: 651-285-7089 or Candy: 507-382-9446 today!