Our Blog: Word on the Sidewalk
Close your eyes. Now, take a step back in time to a sticky Thursday morning when -- to great anticipation -- the World’s Largest Wagon rolled into Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue, the emblem of a milestone celebration. It wasn’t just any, old gathering to say the least: the fête honored the 100-year anniversary our iconic, Chicago-based company, Radio Flyer.
Naturally, it was a smile-filled celebration that spanned generations. As the avenue filled with fans, July 13th was a day full of music, giveaways and all kinds of family fun.
The World’s Largest Wagon was initially built for our big 8-0. That larger-than-life monument nods to another beacon, mind you: our “Coaster Boy” model, which instilled wonder at the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago.
At nine times the size of the Original Little Red Wagon, the World’s Largest Wagon boasts eight-foot wheels that weigh 1,000 pounds each. Requiring a massive six tons of steel to construct, at 27 feet long it clocks in at 15,000 pounds and fits 75 children comfortably. Typically grounded at our Grand Avenue headquarters, we enlisted a flatbed truck to transport the World’s Largest Wagon to the bash!
During the event – aptly dubbed Smile, Chicago! – guest speakers included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Radio Flyer Chief Wagon Officer Robert Pasin and Chris de Haan, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for Starlight Children Foundation. As a way to spread the joy even further, we announced the donation of 2,000 Radio Flyer wagons to Starlight Children Foundation.
Sweet tooths came for the donuts and popsicles. Children blew bubbles, had their faces painted and got temporary tattoos. A slew of mini classic wagons were given away, sparking all kinds of imaginative play. Meanwhile, revelers enjoyed the feel-good musical stylings of Mr. Dave. And guess who else made the trip -- Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys R Us! Not one to be camera-shy, he posed for photos beneath the wagon.
Before the gathering came to a close, Radio Flyer enthusiasts who shared a photo with the hashtag #radioflyer100 were entered into a contest, and 10 winners received a 100th Anniversary edition of our Classic Red Wagon as a prize.
It was a gathering for the ages, to say the least, in the heart of the city where we began.