If you’re driving around town this week and think that you see an enormous hot dog, there’s probably no reason to be alarmed.
Joey Greenstein is a “hotdogger,” one of the crew who drives around the region in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which will be making its way through Missoula and appearing at a series of events this week.
Greenstein said being on road trips all of the time means that he and the rest of the hotdoggers have seen some pretty extreme behavior of people trying to get a photo when the 27-foot-long hotdog drives up next to them on the road.
“While we always advise safety, we have had people open van doors, or stand up and out of sunroofs to get a picture when they are driving next to us,” he said. “We’re used to it. You’re stopping for gas, which could only take a couple of minutes, but then you meet people and end up taking pictures with them.”
Greenstein said he started as a hotdogger in June after going through a two-week training course called Hot Dog High that taught him and the other crewmembers not only how to drive the bus, but also some of the fun ways to interact with the public and have a fun time. The hotdogger position is a one-year job that he will have through next summer.
The Wienermobile that Greenstein and company will be bringing to town is one of six that Oscar Mayer currently has around the country, each designated to a different region.
He said Oscar Mayer gets about 10,000 requests for appearances of the Wienermobile every year, from store openings to 5K runs and golf tournaments. As long as it fits into their schedule, the appearances are free.
“We haven’t done a wedding yet, but a few of the other vehicles have,” he said.
The Wienermobile will be in town from Oct. 27 through Nov. 2, and will be present at a series of events across downtown. It’s tour starts at a movie night at the Top Hat Lounge on Monday evening, then the hotdogger crew will be taking part in Zombie Tag on the Oval at the University of Montana on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon from 3:30-5 p.m. they will be at the Missoula Public Library where kids are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes to take pictures with the Wienermobile.
It will round out Thursday by appearing at the FFA’s haunted house at the Missoula County Fairgrounds from 7-10 p.m.
Friday, Greenstein and the rest of the Wienermobile team will take part in a Halloween trick or treating event at Mismo Gymnastics from 4-6 p.m., and the Haunted Hayride at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton from 8-11 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 1, the Wienermobile will be at the Albertsons at 1003 E. Broadway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Albertsons at 2205 Oxford St. from 3-6 p.m. It will end its tour of Missoula on Sunday at the Albertsons at 3800 S. Russell St. from 9 a.m. to noon.