Destination: Spamtown

Fireworks burst over the bandshell during a fireworks display as part of Austin's Freedom Fest celebration. See more on Freedom Fest in Summer Breeze, out tomorrow. -- Herald file photo

Look for countless summer fun ideas in the Herald’s Summer Breeze, publishing Friday

Austin may not be New York City when it comes to tourist destinations, but Spamtown is a hotbed for summer activities for visitors and residents alike.

Cheryl Corey, executive director of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), said this summer will see a slew of annual activities along with some new recreational additions to town.

Corey hopes Austin area residents will take advantage of the monthly summer tours of the Hormel Institute. Although the cancer research facility is located in Austin, few people get the chance to see what happens on the inside. Corey said she’s given tours of the Institute in the past.

“I was amazed by the number of people that said they drive by (the Institute) every day and have no idea what goes on there,” she said. “Everybody has been touched by cancer in one way or another, and this is such a place of hope. … They’re studying night and day to eradicate cancer.”

Austin will also be home to around 300 Model-T cars for a day in July, when Model-T owners are visiting the community the week of their annual convention in Rochester.

“For Austinites, how many opportunities do you have to see over 300 Model-T’s in our town?” Corey said.

The drivers will end up at the fairgrounds for lunch, and the public is welcome to come out and talk to the drivers and look at the cars.

Many of this year’s summer activities are free or inexpensive, so anyone can join in the fun. For more information and a full calendar of events, visit www.austincvb.com.

•June 8 — “Cooking Tips & Trends” fourth session at the Hormel Historic Home. The Austin CVB, along with the Hormel Historic Home and Community Education, will again offer the special cooking show with a featured chef, food samples and door prizes. There will be a vendor expo from 5-6 p.m., and the session will run from 6-8 p.m. The is “Produce on the Grill and Beyond.”

•June 18 — Second Annual Family Fun Day in Austin. The attractions of Austin, along with the Austin CVB and Chamber of Commerce will host tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mower County Historical Society, Historic Paramount Theatre, Hormel Historic Home, The Hormel Institute and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. The Nature Center is also sponsoring their Summer Solstice from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nature Center requires pre-registration, but all six locations are offering free, fun, family-centered events.

•June 30 — Public open house tour at the Hormel Institute from 3-7 p.m.

•July 1-4 — Austin’s Fourth of July “SPAM Town USA” Freedom Fest will include music and games at Bandshell Community Park, with a parade and fireworks, too.

•July 10 — Mower County Historical Society will host the annual Teddy Bear Picnic from 1-3 p.m. Call MCHS at 507-437-6082 for complete details.

•July 21 — The Model-T Ford Club International will be visiting Austin. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see approximately 250 Model-T cars driving around Austin! These club members will be touring several Austin attractions, and a schedule of locations and timing will be announced in the newspaper later.

•July 26-27 — The Austin community will be hosting more than 1,000 bike riders coming through on the Multiple Sclerosis TRAM bike ride fundraiser. This six day, five city bike ride is the largest annual fundraiser for MS and will include free entertainment for local residents to come out and enjoy at Todd Park from 3 to 10 p.m. on July 26.

•July 28 — Public open house tour at the Hormel Institute from 3-7 p.m.

•Aug. 9-14 — 127th Annual Mower County Free Fair. Go to www.mowercountyfair.com for details.

•August 25 — Public open house tour at the Hormel Institute from 3-7 p.m.

Mower County

2024 Summer SURE Internship begins at The Hormel Institute

Mower County

Major archaeological survey is underway in Mower County

Education

Photos: Back to where it began. AHS seniors walk through Woodson Kindergarten

Agriculture

Farmers must kill 4.2 million chickens after bird flu hits Iowa egg farm

News

Jury deliberations begin in Donald Trump’s hush money criminal case

Mower County

Commissioners approve resolution using federal funds to replace county bridges

Mower County

Evolve wraps up successful season

Mower County

Young Eagles Flight Rally scheduled for June 8

Mower County

Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service offers paid training program

Mower County

Fourth Grade Junior Fire State Poster Contest winners named

News

Two correctional officers sustain minor injuries after assault by two inmates at Minnesota prison

Education

In Your Community: Masons give out scholarships

News

Israeli strikes kill at least 37 Palestinians, most in tents, near Gaza’s Rafah as offensive expands

News

Trump prosecutor focuses on ‘cover-up’ in closing arguments while defense attacks key witness

Blooming Prairie

Two from Austin injured in Friday crash near Blooming Prairie

News

Minnesota lawmakers assert protections for public waters

Mower County

I-90 eastbound 4th, 6th Street ramps in Austin close May 31, Cedar River closes June 3

Mower County

Photos: Those who gave all honored on Memorial Day

Mower County

Honor those who served this Memorial Day

Education

‘Light the world on fire:’ Pacelli graduates the Class of 2024

Education

Signing ceremony a first step for students hoping to get into education

Education

Hook, line, and sinker – Lyle students made the best catch

Mower County

Austin Stormwater Resilience Plan – Open House slated for Tuesday

Mower County

Mueller awarded fellowship to attend leadership institute