Hastings, Neb., the birthplace of Kool-Aid, will hold its annual Kool-Aid Days event on Aug. 12-14, 2011. Edwin Perkins invented the popular fruity drink in 1927 in Hastings, and ever since 1998, the community has been publicly celebrating its creation. What started as a showcase of the Kool-Aid exhibit at the Hastings Museum has since turned into a three-day fun-filled, family event every year in August.
One of the event's most popular attractions is the World's Largest Kool-Aid Stand, where visitors can purchase a $2 mug and drink as much Kool-Aid as they like all day long. The stand will offer 14 different fruity flavors to choose from at any given time.
Highlighting this year's celebration is Koncert Kool-Aid on Saturday evening, featuring "Kahuna Beach Party," a band playing 1960s and "Beach Boys" inspired music. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Brickyard Park and admission is free with the purchase of a 2011 Kool-Aid Days mug or t-shirt. An admission fee of $2 will be charged to those who do not show one of these items; however, they will receive a coupon redeemable for a mug or for $2 off a Kool-Aid Kollectibles merchandise purchase. A fireworks display will follow the show.
The Kardboard Boat Races, Kool-Aid Jammers Boat Races, Cutest Kid Contest, Kwickest Kool-Aid Drinking Contest, and a farmer's market are just a handful of the many attractions featured at the festival. Visitors will even have the chance to see the official Kool-Aid Man Balloonicle used in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or take a ride on the Union Pacific Miniature Train.
Last year Kool-Aid Days drew an estimated 40,000 people to Hastings, and event coordinators are expecting 50,000 visitors this year, according to the official website. The event has won many awards including the Nebraska Travel Industry Award for "Most Outstanding Event of 2010" in their category, and it was named one of "North America's 100 Best Events for 2011" by the American Bus Association.
Visit www.kool-aiddays.com for a complete listing of all scheduled events, driving directions and opportunities to volunteer.