SPAM museum festival in Austin

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2002

After months and months of postponement, the grand opening of the SPAM Museum is nearly here.

And what a party it’s going to be.

According to Julie Craven, director of public relations at Hormel Foods Corp., the two days of the festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, are two very different days.

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&uot;Saturday is more of a celebration of American classics,&uot; she said. There will be classic American cars, classic rock ‘n’ roll, classic Minnesota sports figures, and classic TV moms, including Marion Ross from &uot;Happy Days,&uot; Barbara Billingsley from “Leave It to Beaver” and Debra Jo Rupp from &uot;That ’70s Show.&uot;

&uot;Like SPAM, they’re things that are all-American, have stood the test of time and been around for decades,&uot; Craven said.

Sunday, which honors World War II veterans, &uot;will have a very different look and feel to it. The WWII vets are really important and precious and frankly, they aren’t going to be with us 20 years from now,&uot; said Craven.

To commemorate WWII veterans, Tom Brokaw, news anchor for NBC, will assist in dedicating a memorial for the vets Sunday. Brokaw has authored the &uot;Greatest Generation&uot; series of books.

Craven says that when an invitation was extended to Brokaw, it included letters sent to Hormel by soldiers during WWII.

&uot;That made a huge connection with him and … he decided to come,&uot; she says. Surprisingly, the line-up of celebrities and entertainers is nearly identical to the celebration that had been slated for Sept. 15-16.