Dear Answer Man, when will the new Spam Museum in Austin open?
In April. This is about six weeks earlier than I was told by an informed source over the weekend, and it'll be none too soon for Spam lovers, my boss among them. He has a dining-out column in
Thursday on the
, and he passed along this outstanding question.
Rick Williamson, external communications manager for Hormel Foods Corp., says a precise date hasn't been set, but April is the magic month, which means the state's tourism website,
, is correct to say the museum will be open by May 1.
The museum was previously at 1101 Main St. N and it attracted more than a million visitors in its 12 years there. (Before that, it was tucked away in Oak Park Mall, where it opened in 1991.) The new museum will be 14,000 square feet, a bit smaller than the previous incarnation, but will have all the bells and whistles.
The museum could hardly be a bigger deal for downtown Austin, and I can tell you for a fact that the city is pumped. Also this summer (July 27-29) is the 125th anniversary celebration for Hormel Foods, and they'll have a grand opening party for the museum at that time.
For more on the museum or to check out the wide world of Spam merchandise, call 1-800-LUV-SPAM.
Dear Answer Man, there was a story in the paper Tuesday about how much Rochester has spent on Destination Medical Center so far ($9.6 million), but how much has Mayo Clinic spent that's considered DMC related?
Mayo has reported to the state that it spent $39.2 million in 2014 and $6.9 million in 2013, for a total of about $46.2 million. Presumably more was spent in 2015 that hasn't been certified by the state. A total of $200 million in private investment has to occur before state money is released for DMC related projects.
FYI, Olmsted County didn't spend a dime on DMC in 2015, as far as I can tell.
Dear Answer Man, will the city of Rochester have a fireworks show this summer? I have family that's coming from Texas for July Fourth and it occurred to me we don't always have fireworks.
Well, one way or another there'll always be fireworks in Rochester on the Fourth. Since the Post-Bulletin quit footing the bill several years ago, community sponsors have managed to pay the freight. The City Council has a three-year contract (through 2018) with
, based in Yarmouth, Iowa, and the mayor and city officials presumably will be passing the hat for help pay the bill. The annual show costs $35,000, according to a city document.