When Corey Stutte was campaigning to be the mayor of Hastings, Neb., he knew he’d have to march in parades and give out free stuff like candy. But last year, as the election neared, Stutte decided that a twist on this political routine was in order: Instead of handing out candy, he ordered his campaign workers to distribute packets of Kool-Aid instead.
Such a move would have been a head-scratcher in any other town in America, but not here. Hastings is the birthplace of Kool-Aid, which inventor Edwin Perkins concocted in a brick building downtown in 1927—today a revered local landmark. In Hastings, Stutte explained, “you learn about Kool-Aid in elementary school.”