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Nutty icon breezes through Oaks Park

DAVID F. ASHTON - The Beversluis family and their friends gather to pose with Mr. Peanut during his brief visit in March to Oaks Park. Celebrating his 100th birthday, “Mr. Peanut” and his entourage rolled into historic Oaks Amusement Park on March 19, as they wrapped up their year’s tour of the United States.

“We’ve just been to Sacramento, and before that was San Diego, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Dallas, Denver -- you name it, we’ve been there, throughout the West,” recounted “Planters Peanutter” (that’s an official title) Gil Maher.

“It’s fun to see older people, who recognize ‘Mr. Peanut’ from their youth, get to meet this legendary representative of our brand,” Maher told THE BEE. “And, little kids are excited to meet this big, nutty guy as well,” he added.

All three members of the team take turns driving the custom-made “Nutmobile”, and donning the costume, Maher said.

About being a “Peanutter”, Maher said the company offers a one-year contract to graduating college students to tour the country. “You’ve got to be a little nuts to do it! Meeting people all across the country has helped me…come out of my shell.”