If you’re a fan of the tinned meat product known as SPAM – or just enjoy a good offbeat museum – then you have a new reason to plan a trip to southeastern Minnesota: the Spam Museum is set to reopen on April 22, 2016.
The museum is located in Austin, Minnesota – home of SPAM manufacturer Hormel Foods Corporation – and has been closed since September 2014 in preparation for a move from just outside of Austin’s downtown to a spot right in downtown.
Some new galleries have been created, but Hormel made sure to keep the more popular exhibits, including one exploring Spam’s connection to the military and the production line game where guests can simulate making Spam.
SPAMples, the Spam Museum’s version of free samples, will continue as well.
Why did they move the Spam Museum?
To be neighborly.
Since 2001, the Spam Museum welcomed visitors first from a spot in a local mall and later from a building attached to Hormel corporate headquarters, just off Interstate 90.
But stopping at the museum didn’t require a drive through Austin (population: 25,000), which meant most visitors never ventured into the town’s historic shop and restaurant-filled downtown.
So when it came time for a new and bigger spot for the museum, members of Vision 2020 – a community group working to improve the quality of life in Austin by the year 2020 – urged Hormel to move the museum to Austin’s Main Street.
Hormel agreed. And now finishing touches are being put on the Spam Museum, which has scheduled its soft opening for April 22 and a grand opening in July as part of Hormel’s 125th anniversary celebration.