By Carla Charter
Nibbles Woodaway, the Big Blue Bug sculpture which sits atop Big Blue Bug Solutions, along Route 95 in Providence, Rhode Island, has become a local landmark for the area. Now he will have his own billboard as well. “We put the billboard up to let people know where it is. That it will be coming up a quarter of a mile on the right,” said Tony DeJesus, Vice President of Big Blue Bug Solutions
Nibbles who weighs 2,000 pounds is the result of the imagination of the late Leonard Goldman and Stephen Goldman, the current president of the company and was built by Aveno sign offsite then brought to the company where it was reassembled. ”It was rebuilt almost like a jigsaw puzzle,” according to DeJesus.
Originally, the Big Blue Termite was created as advertisement for the company’s new location. “We could never have predicted how famous the Big Blue Bug would become. It’s the best advertisement we could have. When people call and we ask how they heard about us, 85% say the Big Blue Bug.” Nibbles has also spawned a costumed character who makes appearances at charity events
Nibbles often makes the local news according to DeJesus “Traffic reporters will refer to traffic near the Big Blue Bug or an accident a quarter of a mile from the Big Blue Bug and everyone knows where it is. We decorate it every year at Christmas with over 5,000 lights, antlers and a red nose.”
Nibbles has become famous in the larger media as well including scenes in the movie Dumb and Dumber 1&2, where Nibbles can be seen as the characters leave Providence and an appearance on Oprah Winfrey show about travel icons. Nibbles was also chosen for Roadside America by Mike Wilkins, Ken Smith &Dan Kirby and mentioned in the novel Providence by Geoffrey Wolff.
The Bug also attracts fans near and far. “Last summer we had visitors from Australia visiting Rhode Island and one thing they wanted to see was the Big Blue Bug,” DeJesus said. At the Denver International Airport there is a map with a representation from every state. Nibbles represents Rhode Island.
A painting of Nibbles resides in Switzerland. “We had a student from Switzerland studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design. He painted a picture of the bug. He brought the picture back to Switzerland and his father like it so much that it is now hanging in their hotel in Switzerland.”