WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (TIMESLEADER)- Finally, after 10 long years, the Nutmobile made its return to the city streets of Wilkes-Barre on Sunday. 

With it came local celebrity Mr. Peanut himself, in town to be recognized as the Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Development Corporation, led by chairman Thom Greco, unveiled a new sign on Pennsylvania Boulevard recognizing Wilkes-Barre as the birthplace of the Planter Nut and Chocolate Company, known worldwide for their Planters Peanuts.  

“It’s quite a day here today,” Greco said as he stood underneath the new sign, which reads “Planters: Founded 1906, Wilkes-Barre, PA.” 

“We want to help Planters reclaim its history in Wilkes-Barre,” Greco added. 

Greco’s building on the corner of Pennsylvania Boulevard and North Street has a visible Mr. Peanut statue in the window, but no statue could outdo the real thing, and Mr. Peanut was a big hit with the crowd as he made his way off the Nutmobile, dancing and posing for photos. 

One fan, former radio personality Jennifer Starr, brought someone with her to Sunday’s event: her Mr. Peanut doll, which she gave to the real-life Mr. Peanut to hold for a photo. 

“I’ve had this doll for 40- plus years, my parents bought it for me,” Starr said.

“I’ve been a longtime supporter of Mr. Greco’s efforts to recognize Planters. … It’s a part of our history.” 

Greco told the crowd that he’d been supporting Planters and the effort to recognize the locally founded company for a number of years now. 

“Planters played a huge role in the history of Wilkes-“Planters played a huge role in the history of Wilkes-Barre, and in the city’s commerce,” he said. “We want to preserve that history and make it part of the present.”    

Also on hand to welcome Mr. Peanut and his “Peanutters,” were city councilman and director of the Wilkes-Barré Preservation Society Tony Brooks and Visit Luzerne County Executive Director Alan K. Stout. 

It’s always a good day to celebrate local history,” Brooks said. “This is what makes us different from any other town in America.” 

”Stout added that “We try to celebrate anything interesting and fun here in NEPA, and this is an amazing story.” 

Brooks noted that he hoped the city’s continued commitment to recognizing Planter’s history in Wilkes-Barre eventually leads to a museum. 

Mr. Peanut isn’t skipping town just yet – he’ll be stopping by Kirby Park on Monday for the city’s Old Fashioned Forth of July celebration.  

So to any drivers out there who may be riding behind the Planters gang, don’t worry — you’re not nuts. 

“It’s great to see the Nutmobile back on our streets,” Greco said.