Spam and fun come together

Published 9:01 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

Between the ages of 9 and 32 a great deal of growing up occurs, don’t you agree?

SPAM_Kids_Fest_Logo_SPAMMY_VERTICALFamily, school, work and marriage often have great impact on a person during this time frame. This is true of Jay Catherwood Hormel who spent those very years growing from child to young man to soldier to businessman and husband in the home his parents provided for him.

Jay should be remembered for more than just being the father of the Spam brand.

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My column this month will tell his history from 1901 to 1925 when he called 208 Water St. his home. By the end of the month I will be inviting you to visit and see how we have updated the exhibits in Jay’s bedroom. Thanks to a grant from the Hormel Foundation we will be able to give recognition to Jay and his accomplishments through photos, stories and objects.

Next week I will start with Jay’s childhood, but this week I have to leap ahead to 1937, the year Spam was launched, in honor of the second annual Spam Kids Fest which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at the Hormel Historic Home. The event will open at 9 a.m. for children with special needs. Please call ahead to register for this special time frame.

This free event will feature a variety of activities aimed at telling the story of the Hormel family, but the primary focus will be on the world wide fame of the Spam product.

Attendees will learn the science behind Spam explained by a Hormel Company scientist with the help of the Cookie Monster character. They will learn about Musubi (Spam sushi) and Project Spammy, and they will be able to meet and take photos with Spam brand characters.

Jay Hormel loved horses so we will have ponies for kids to pet and brush as he would have done. The Austin Pallet Players will perform a skit with an historic Spam plot. Sensory activities such as building with cans and making seed bombs will entertain and teach.

The aim of the event is to celebrate the local love of the Spam brand through science, history and arts.

You probably know of the large Spam Fest held annually in Hawaii. If people nearly 4,000 miles away are celebrating our famed local product, shouldn’t we do the same? Join us on the eighth to experience and embrace Spam like you have never done before and in way that would make Jay Hormel, the father of Spam and so much more, proud.

Thank you to the Hormel Company for sponsoring this fun event.

Pizza Ranch Tip Night to support our Autism Programming

4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, April 3

Autism Friendly Austin Luncheon

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Thursday, April 6

Learn how you and your business can help Austin become an Autism Friendly and Sensory Sensitive Community

free, Please pre-register by calling 507-433-4243 or e-mailing

2nd Annual Spam Kids Fest

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8

Free ongoing activities throughout event for families Activities include crafts, live music, interactive presentations, games, Spam  brand characters, and more. Geared toward kids 2-10 years old.