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BE gets ‘giant’ national publicity

By Staff | Sep 30, 2012

You have probably heard the old saying that “There is no such thing as bad publicity. All publicity is good if they spell your name right.”

Now, I don’t know if that saying is attributed to P.T. Barnum or Mae West, and it doesn’t matter.

Blue Earth seems to attract a lot of publicity. Some of it good and some not.

Some has to do with the unusual name of the town. I don’t believe there is another Blue Earth anywhere. And even more of the notoriety has to do with this gigantic green statue that attracts visitors by the thousands off the nearby freeway.

Someday the town might also be known for hats thousands and thousands of them which currently are not even housed in this city, but are in buildings and semi trailers on a farm near Frost, 10 miles away from Blue Earth.

I refer, of course, to the Guinness Book of World Record hat collection that belonged to the late Roger “Bucky” Legried.

Bucky always wanted a place to display his more than 109,000 hats. He thought that Blue Earth, located along I-90, would be an excellent place. Now that he has died, his son, Scott, has the collection and he too, would like to see them displayed.

So would Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce executive director Cindy Lyon.

She thinks it would be a tremendous tourist draw if the Jolly Green Giant had the World’s Largest Hat Collection located near his feet.

Her overall plan has to do with having both the Giant Museum and Bucky’s hats displayed in a building near the giant statue itself.

She thinks this would be a really “giant” attraction.

I think she is right. I can see the grand opening of the Bucky Legried Hat Display now. The JGG statue would, of course, be sporting a newly made giant cap to cover his head. Much like the vest, shirt and scarf he occasionally is seen wearing.

People would come, to quote a line from the movie “Field of Dreams.”

Lyon is on to something. After all, if people are willing to drive out of their way to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Darwin, Minnesota, then think how many more would stop right off the freeway to see 109,000 hats.

I mean, when you see the ball of twine, you say, “Wow, that is a big ball of twine.” Then you get in your car and leave. When you would see Bucky’s hats, you would say, “Wow, that is a whole lot of hats,” but then you would stay and look through them all. Or, at least some of them.

No offense meant to the fine folks of Darwin, who have a neat gazebo (much like the one in downtown Blue Earth) that houses the ball of twine. Yes, I have been there and seen it. It would fill the Blue Earth Gazebo that is how large it is.

But, back to the hats.

I was intrigued when Chamber director Lyon started talking about this possible project. But I was literally shocked the other day when she told me her idea about the hats had been written up in the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal? Really?

That fact would hardly compute in my brain. I thought that perhaps a recent motorcycle accident that injured Lyon’s shoulder must have also resulted in a head injury and she got the name of the newspaper wrong.

The Bricelyn Journal maybe. The Wall Street Journal, doubtful. I mean, why would the Wall Street Journal be writing about Blue Earth and a hat collection.

But, there it was. A full-blown story about the hats, the giant statue, the Green Giant museum, everything.

It quotes Lyon, City Administrator Kathy Bailey and Scott Legried.

You can Google it for yourself or find it at online.wsj.com.

I guess I shouldn’t be so shocked. Bucky’s huge hat collection has been written up many times over the years in many publications, including many times in the Faribault County Register.

The big bunch of hats especially gained a lot of publicity the two different times that the hats were counted and entered into the Guinness record book.

Stories appeared in many, many newspapers and on national television.

Would this hat collection be a big draw for Blue Earth? Heck, yes.

Should the idea be pursued? You bet.

Will it actually happen? Stay tuned.

For more information on the Green Giant and Blue Earth featured in other newspapers, read the Editor’s Blog on the Faribault County Register website, at www.faribaultcountyregister.com.