Herman the German

Giants and Germans, Visiting the Jolly Green Giant

My daughter has been saying for the longest time that she sees a giant in the trees whenever we are on a trip. I figured that this was a great time to actually show her a giant.

The Jolly Green Giant is located in Blue Earth, MN. It’s definitely a trek from the cities but was fun. They have a festival once a year and their history museum and gift shop is open Monday-Friday. Of course, we didn’t let that stop us. The town is not that big so we made it more of a road-side attraction.

The giant was built in 1978 with the help of one creative businessman. When he heard that the new highway was going to bypass his town, he knew they needed to do something special to bring people in. The Green Giant canning company has changed ownership a few times and some considered the statue orphaned but I think that Blue Earth adopted it.

Jolly Green Giant, Blue Earth Minneaots

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The Jolly Green Giant

When we first told my daughter about the Giant, I could see the fear roll over her face. A real giant? Once she found out it was “Jolly”, oh, and just a statue, she was all for it. As we pull up we noticed a few people hanging out. They looked like they were just hanging out at the local DQ and wandering over.

We figured we were the only crazy ones excited to see it. My daughter was so excited that she got to climb up to its feet. They had a nice picnic area so we brought out our lunch.

Then we started to notice others pull up to get pics. It was funny to see the people trying to nonchalantly try to take pictures from their cars. The way I look at it, have no shame. If you’re going to stop the car, get out and get into the spirit. By the time we left, both of my kids had made a new best friend with the statue.

Next up New Ulm

Hermann the German statue. Based on the legend of Hermann, a German warrior that defended the tribes against the invading Romans in September 9AD.

When german settlers came to New Ulm, they constructed a statue of him high above the city to guard over all the residents. It cost $2.25 for anyone over 5 yrs old to enter. Climbing it will give you a great view of the city if you have the nerve to climb all the way to the top of the winding staircase.

You do have to be a steady enough individual to get up past the dome level. Even then it was a little scary to carry a toddler to that level. I would not take one all the way to the top. My daughter and husband braved the top level first. I was very impressed with her bravery.

By the time I got up there, I took a quick walk around the base making the smaller children visiting stand next to the edge while I squeezed by them and got down quickly. My husband was able to some pictures, not sure how. I never thought I had a problem with heights. It must be something about growing older….

Hermann the German
View from the top

After checking out Hermann we wanted to kill some time before seeing one of the scheduled Glockenspiel performances. According to the book, there was a nice sausage factory that we thought was fun… After a 20-minute search, we decided to call for directions only to find out that the line was disconnected.

We thought the cuckoo clock store might be fun…. Closed on Sundays… Music hall of fame… Appeared to be closed Sunday… Bars, Open! Oh Germans. The main drag of Minnesota Street looks like it would be fun, on a Saturday or if you are drinker.

I think it would be better to check out the town during one of the monthly festivals they host. It might be more lively.

Down Town New Ulmn

The Glockenspiel

The Glockenspiel was fun. Defiantly a one of a kind thing to see. It’s one of only a few freestanding clock towers like this in the world. They have scheduled performances at noon, 3 and 5. They started about 2 minutes early and lasted for about 5 minutes. Once it starts, they have a door that opens up underneath the polka players with dancers. Be warned, it’s loud.


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