One heck of a party: Community, visitors come together to celebrate 125 years of Hormel

Published 6:03 am Monday, August 1, 2016

After two years of planning, coordinating and creating a family event for all ages, Jaynee Sherman was excited to see all of her and the Hormel’s 125th anniversary planning committee’s hard work come together.

“This is the day we’ve been waiting for,” said Sherman, coordinator of the 125th anniversary celebration. “It’s amazing to see this come to life.”

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

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Jillian Brown came to the celebration with a several coworkers from BBDO, an ad agency that works with Hormel located out of Minneapolis.

She was excited to see food trucks from various Hormel brands, like Muscle Milk, Jennie-O and Applegate.

“They’re bringing Hormel brands full circle,” Brown said.

Her coworker, Angela Johnson, thought Hormel did “a wonderful job” putting together the family-friendly event.

“It’s nice of them do this for the community,” Johnson said.

Johnson and Brown were both especially excited for The Band Perry’s performance later on.

“There’s nothing better than an outdoor concert in a Minnesota summer,” Brown said with a laugh.

Michelle Meyer came to the celebration after hearing about it from friends in Austin. Her daughters are big fans of The Band Perry, so they decided to make the hour and a half trip from Kellogg, Minnesota, to see them perform.

Fireworks burst overhead, wrapping up the Hormel’s 125th anniversary celebration Friday. Eric Johnson/

Fireworks burst overhead, wrapping up the Hormel’s 125th anniversary celebration Friday. Eric Johnson/

“I’m very impressed [with the entertainment],” Meyer said.

Some visitors took the celebration as an opportunity to visit the Spam Museum for the first time. Barb Berwington of Blooming Prairie visited the museum for the first time on Friday. Berwington was impressed by the globe impact of Spam and the company. When her daughter and her friends have visited from England, the Spam Museum is on the top of their to-do list.

“When her friends come here, this is what they want to see,” Berwington said. “It shocks me that it’s a really big thing in foreign countries.”

Austin resident Steve Kime enjoyed how the event brought the community together.

“There’s so many people everywhere enjoying it,” he said. “Events like this bring people together.”

Many vendors at the event, like R.A. Mac Sammy’s, added Spam items to their menu in honor of the celebration. The Minneapolis-based food truck served Spam mac and cheese among their other items.

“We try to tailor the menu to what it is we’re doing,” said owner and chef Kevin Huyck.

Though they hadn’t had much business as of 4:30 p.m., they were hoping it would pick up later on during the dinner rush.

The Band Perry performed at 8:30 p.m. and the night ended with fireworks.

Although attendance numbers won’t be known for several days, Sherman estimated Friday morning 10,000 to 15,000 would attend the event. In the end, however, Sherman doesn’t believe the attendance will affect how people enjoyed the festivities.

“No matter the number, the celebration will be great,” she said.