Feb 18, 2022
HOMETOWN DESSERT: Museum remembers Jell-O’ connection
LE ROY — It’s the second week in February and therefore an important national holiday — National Jell-O Week.
Despite Jell-O being manufactured and “invented” in Le Roy, it was Utah residents who decided this is the week to celebrate Jell-O.
“First of all, Utahns consume more Jell-O than anyone,” said Lynne Belluscio, Le Roy historian and honorary official Utahn. “In 2001, with the encouragement of the students of Brigham Young University, the Utah State Legislature declared Jell-O the official “State Snack.” This was a very opportune time because someone knew that the following year Salt Lake City would host the Olympics at that time.”
That special dessert status helped link Utah and Le Roy.
Plans were in the works to put together a Jell-O exhibit during the Olympics and the Jell-O Museum was contacted to see if it would loan objects and a person.
Belluscio was offered up to be on loan.
She said the Jell-O Museum worked with an exhibit company in Rochester and in 2002 she flew to Salt Lake City. The folks from Jell-O had arranged for several appearances on television and radio, and the exhibit was opened at one of the big malls in Salt Lake City.
The exhibit consisted of a huge arch of plastic Jell-O cubes, supported by two huge Jell-O spoons, with the big red letters “Jell-O” on the top. There were a few free-standing exhibit panels with listening posts where you could hear Bill Cosby — then the dessert’s spokesman — talk about the history of Jell-O.
“A few years later, the huge arch was sent to us and it now welcomes our visitors into the Jell-O Gallery,” Belluscio said. “The opening of the exhibit was a few days before the opening of the Olympics, so I was already back in Le Roy when the Olympics opened, and never did have an opportunity to go up to see the Olympic Village.”
The museum is located at 23 E. Main St. Call (585) 768-7433 for the most recent hours of operation.
Check www.jellogallery.org for more information.