Hormel’s 125th was Spam-tastic

Published 10:15 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

The reviews are in: Austin had a blast at Hormel Foods Corp.’s 125th anniversary celebration last Friday.

Everyone from community officials to Austin families and visitors have been buzzing in recent days about the celebration, which served as a joint birthday party and grand opening for the new Spam Museum at at 101 Third Ave. NE.

Crowds from the community and surrounding areas came to celebrate 125 years of Hormel with music, entertainment, food vendors and activities for the whole family.

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After several opening acts, The Band Perry performed at 8:30 p.m. and the night ended with a large fireworks display.

One person was arrested for disorderly conduct, but the night proved quiet and community-friendly for a crowd estimated at around 10,000 people.

All in all, the day proved to be family-friendly celebration to a scale that Austin is unlikely to see again for many years.

But the effects of the celebration and the new Spam Museum will likely be felt well beyond July 29.

Not only was the celebration a boon for downtown businesses, but several downtown merchants have reported increased traffic from visitors to the new Spam Museum. Though the visitors may level out after this inaugural season, it’s sure to bring people into downtown Austin for many years.

And as Austin’s largest company and employer, people can be quick to criticize Hormel, but Friday proved again its a company that gives back to the community — which it does year-round through The Hormel Foundation.

After a great, and free, community party and the opening months of a new museum, Hormel deserves credit and thanks.

Thanks for a great party, and here’s to the next 125 years.