Blue Earth's beloved Green Giant statue will be sporting a new look next month.
His green outfit will turn bright orange.
It's all part of a national anti-bullying campaign for the month of October. Orange is the designated color for the promotion.
General Mills, which owns the Green Giant label, has partnered with the Minneapolis-based Pacer organization for a new "Raise a GIANT" campaign.
The purpose is to encourage children to take action against bullying and that sometimes being a giant means doing small acts of courage such as reporting incidents.
It is all part of "Unite Against Bullying Day" on Oct. 9. On that day, a rally is being planned for Giant Park in Blue Earth. The event will be photographed and filmed and become part of a national anti-bullying campaign.
Organizers plan on inviting reporters from media around Minnesota to attend the event. Plus, they will be sending photos and video of the orange Giant to newspapers and television networks across the country.
But, turning the Giant's tunic from green to orange isn't the only item on the organizer's list of requests.
"They also want us to change the name of the town from Blue Earth to Orange Earth, for that one day," Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce director Cindy Lyon says. "It would be part of a mayor's proclamation for Unite Against Bullying Day."
Lyon is planning on attending the City Council meeting on Monday to make the formal request for the name change, which would be done in spirit only.
A group from a New York-based public relations firm was in Blue Earth this summer to discuss the plans for the Oct. 9 event.
"At first they asked if they could paint the Giant's tunic orange," Lyon says. "Then they would paint it back to green later. We said 'no way' so now they are making an orange tunic with sewn together cloth orange leaves to put on him."
The organizers of the event also want to have local participation in the campaign against bullying and ask that people put up orange ribbons around trees and mailboxes and wear orange clothing on Oct. 9.
"This is a very exciting event to be happening in our town," Lyon says. "This will be national news, and Blue Earth and our Giant statue will gain some very wide exposure across the whole country."
Information from the Pacer organization about the Unite Against Bullying Day reports that across the nation 160,000 kids stay home from school each day due to fear of being bullied.
That translates to enough missing students to fill 334 average size schools.
The target for the Green Giant campaign are kids who witness other kids being bullied and to then have the giant courage to report it to a parent or a teacher.