wiener

JEREMY WISE / DOTHAN EAGLE

Jason Bai takes a photo of the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Thursday in Dothan.

Atlanta native Dorothy Spratlin found herself relishing her dream job in Dothan Thursday – an opportunity she has desired since she was 6 years old.

“This has been my dream job since I was 6,” Spratlin, one of two drivers of the Southeast version of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, said. “It drove by a family Christmas party, and I fell in love with it.”

Spratlin and her teammate arrived in Dothan Thursday as part of a four-day visit to the Wiregrass area. Thursday’s stop occurred at the South Oates Street Food Depot location, and it will visit the chain’s Cherokee Avenue location Friday, the Ashford store Saturday and the East Main Street facility on Sunday, said Shane Whatley, Food Depot’s warehouse coordinator.

Whatley said the visits promote a truckload sale that has dramatically slashed meat prices. To accompany the Wienermobile’s visit, the store will be giving away free hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, he added.

Meanwhile the Wienermobile drivers will give away Oscar Mayer coupons and, of course, the iconic Oscar Mayer Wiener Whistle.

According to the Oscar Mayer website, six Wienermobiles will be on America’s roads at any given time. They are custom-made in North Carolina, and a box truck serves as the base chassis for the iconic vehicle, Spratlin said.

While the Southeast version mainly stays in the region, Spratlin’s team has visited New York City and southern Illinois, she said. Driving seasons begin each June and visit festivals, special events or stores at their request.

The Wienermobile previously visited Orlando, Florida, before traveling to the Circle City. While the visit is truncated, Spratlin said she made sure to visit the National Peanut Festival.

“We’re close friends with the (Planters) Nutmobile,” she said. “We wanted to take a photo of the Wienermobile in front of the giant peanut.”

To make the journeys, drivers must obtain a bachelor’s degree and have a clean driving record before applying for a “Hotdogger” position. Selected applicants then complete “Hot Dog High,” a driving course with the Wienermobile that Oscar Mayer presents with the help of Wisconsin State Police, Spratlin said.

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