Hastings is center of Kool-Aid universe
When we moved to Hastings six years ago I knew Kool-Aid was somehow tied to the community because my in-laws had mailed the kids a Kool-Aid Days postcard before we moved.
I had no idea Hastings was the birthplace of Kool-Aid! We soon discovered this and more following a few trips to Hastings Museum when we had an opportunity to check out the Kool-Aid exhibit. Then the following August the whole family got its first taste of Kool-Aid Days when we joined thousands of other folks at the world’s largest Kool-Aid stand, the concert, jammers races at the water park and more.
Our family has been hooked ever since.
For the last year, the exhibit at Hastings Museum has been undergoing a complete re-do. My husband got a sneak peak a couple of weeks ago. He says it’s awesome and we can’t wait to have a closer look when it re-opens this week.
Everyone we take to the museum really enjoys the Kool-Aid exhibit, and I’m sure they’ll love the new one, too. After all, Kool-Aid is fun and brings back memories for many generations, from grandpa and grandma to the kids.
In preparation for Kool-Aid Days this year, we thought we’d venture out in search of some of the Kool-Aid things in town.
First stop was the building where it all began – on First Street across from Showcase. This is the original Perkins Product Company building where Kool-Aid was invented and made. The building has undergone a facelift and is a colorful site. It’s a great place for people to stop and take a photo and learn a little about the soft drink and its inventor Edwin Perkins.
For example, did you know there were six original flavors of Kool-Aid? They were strawberry, cherry, lemon-lime, grape, orange and raspberry.
They’ll have a lot more flavors than that at Kool-Aid Days this weekend, of course. Some of our favorites are mango, pineapple, black cherry and watermelon-cherry. We head downtown early for the parade and then straight to the Kool-Aid stand to start tasting!
Continuing our tour, we ventured over to the Visitor Center (100 North Shore Drive) to have a look at Kool-Aid Man’s footprints, which were cast in concrete at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood and donated to Hastings by Kraft, which owns the Kool-Aid brand.
The first words out of our kids’ mouths were, “Kool-Aid Man has some big feet!”
A less known Kool-Aid fact is that Edwin Perkins and his wife Kitty are buried at Parkview Cemetery here in town. It’s pretty amazing that this pair who accomplished so much wanted to come back to Hastings to be buried. I’m not sure if we’ll make it to the cemetery before Kool-Aid Days kicks off, but it’s on our to-do list.
Are there any other Kool-Aid items in town we’re missing? Leave a comment and let us know!
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