ONTARIO — Lunchmeat Luke and Miles of Smiles Mandy rolled into Ontario on Thursday afternoon with a special visitor for Kraft Heinz, which threw an employee barbecue for the special occasion.
The 27-foot orange and yellow hotdog-shaped bus, was surrounded by orange cones and spectators for an extended lunch period in front of the facility on Northeast Sixth Avenue.
Employees got to eat a free meal as well as a chance to climb inside the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which was decked out in shades of ketchup and mustard on everything from the walls and floors to the specially upholstered seats.
The drivers, whose non-celebrity personality names are Luke Pitzo and Amanda Boyd, and hail from Wisconsin and Massachusetts, respectively, came loaded with goodies. Attendees could dress up in red and yellow feather boas and hats and hold up signs and oversized picture frames for selfies and other photo opportunities. In addition to fact sheets, the driving team passed out souvenirs, such as stickers and the highly coveted and collectible Weinermobile whistle, the first of which was developed in 1925.
Luiz Espinoza, of Ontario, who has worked at the facility for about four months as a case director in packaging, was appreciative of the opportunity.
“It was awesome,”
Espinoza said some of his friends were giving him a hard time, saying they couldn’t understand why he was so excited.
“I said, “C’mon, it’s a childhood thing to cross off our bucketlist,’” he said.
That statement held weight as some Kraft Heinz employees took advantage of the opportunity to bring out children and grandchildren to see the mammoth-sized bus, and those who couldn’t were sure to get whistles to pass on to their kids.
Among those who brought young ones was Delores Haro, of Ontario, who has worked at the facility for 44 years. Her grandchildren, Ian and Remi Keller, of Payette, were all smiles as they got to climb inside the bus.
Pitzo said the bus is one of six currently touring all over the Western region of the United States. Pitzo and Boyd are one of six two-team drivers who tour their 6-speed automatic busses throughout their respective coverage area.
“Our M.O. is bringing miles of smiles” wherever we go, he said. “We show up with a twenty-seven-foot-long hot dog and make people’s day.”