Happy Birthday Kool-Aid

To mark the first day of summer, the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History opened the first-ever permanent exhibit dedicated to Kool-Aid, the kid-favorite soft drink that is celebrating 75 years of fruity refreshment.

The exhibit includes the first Kool-Aid Man costume, some original Kool-Aid packaging, a fiber optic river of Kool-Aid and a theater that features classic Kool-Aid commercials.

Kool-Aid Man was the guest of honor at the Kool-Aid exhibit opening and cut the red ribbon, officially opening the exhibit to the public.

We first saw Kool-Aid Man's "pitcher"-perfect smile in a 1975 commercial when he crashed through a bowling alley wall to bring ice-cold Kool-Aid to thirsty kids. "Oh, Yeah!"

Kool-Aid was invented by Hastings resident, Edwin Perkins, in 1927.

Fun Facts:

  • The top 5 Kool-Aid Cities are: St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; San Antonio, TX; New Orleans, LA; and Little Rock, AK.

  • Every summer, the residents of the "official birthplace of Kool-Aid," Hastings, Nebraska, gather to honor the fruity beverage at "Kool-Aid Days," a three-day festival honoring the heritage of the kid-favorite beverage.

  • Over the years, Kool-Aid has introduced 52 flavors.

  • The original Kool-Aid flavors were: Cherry, Grape, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Raspberry, and Strawberry.

  • 800 million packages of Kool-Aid are sold each year.

  • 26 gallons of Kool-Aid are consumed every second during the summer season.

  • Kool-Aid was named the "official soft drink of Nebraska" in 1998.

  • Today, the most popular flavor of Kool-Aid is Tropical Punch.

  • The newest flavor of Kool-Aid is new "Switchin' Secret," which features a secret color and secret flavor.