Kool-Aid Man statue unveiled at Hastings Museum

Local4 News at 6 Saturday
Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 3:08 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) -The Hastings Museum now has a familiar greeter outside the building at 1330 N. Burlington Ave.

A crew from Icon Poly Studio of Gibbon delivered and set up the 6-foot Kool-Aid Man statue on Saturday.

The Kool-Aid Man’s exterior is made from urethane fiberglass. The interior includes a heavy duty polyurethane foam in the legs and urethane wooden armature inside the structure for stability. Altogether, the sculpture weighs between 180 and 200 pounds.

Museum staff hope Kool-Aid Man will enhance visibility for the Museum’s connection to the famous beverage that was invented in Hastings.

The Kool-Aid man is a highly recognizable image throughout the nation. Not everyone who travels through Hastings knows the history of the drink mix is rooted in the Hastings community. The hope is the statue will spark curiosity and bring those people into the building. Once here, visitors can explore not only the history of Kool-Aid but the history of the Hastings region.

“We talked about adding something that really reflected what we have in the exhibits and stuff,” said Teresa Kreutzer-Hodson, Director of Hastings Museum. “Obviously, we have other bronzes around a lot of them focus on people, but we don’t focus on any of the icons that most people recognize nationwide, and that’s why Kool-Aid became so important.”

Kreutzer-Hodson said most visitors have trouble finding the Kool-Aid exhibit. The sculpture will help them know where the exhibit is located.

For those who created the sculpture, this project was more than just another sculpture.

“You know as my kids were young we came over to the museum several times and went through the Kool-Aid portion of it and the rest of the museum and that’s something that we did with our kids,” said Kyle Vohland, President of Icon Poly Studio. “So getting to do this statue for the museum is quite an honor.”

Kreutzer-Hodson said she hopes the sculpture sparks people interest as they’re driving by.

This is the last piece of the Museum’s patio renovation that included a new paved entry and path, new landscaping, and the installation of the new outdoor classroom. The Museum’s patio renovation and outdoor classroom was dedicated in September 2022 during a 150th anniversary celebration for the Hastings community.