BUTLER — Get ready to roll — the International Monster Truck Museum is coming to Butler.
Museum President Jeff Cook made the announcement Saturday during the organization’s 10th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The museum, currently housed at Kruse Plaza on C.R. 11-A south of Auburn, is moving to the former Butler Eagles lodge at 541 W. Main St.
The 12,700-square-foot building has been vacant since February 2018, when the local Eagles Aerie was disbanded by the national organization. It now will feature more than a dozen historic monster trucks on display, as well as current monster trucks used on tour, Cook explained in a phone interview Monday.
The museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honor those who built the monster truck industry.
“Our plan was to have our own facility at some point. We’ve grown over the years,” Cook said. “The Kruse Museum gave us a great opportunity. They were always great to us.
“Our goal was to have our own permanent home, a place to call our own,” he said.
The museum office is located at Cook’s business, 1st Attack Engineering Inc. in rural Waterloo, which builds emergency firefighting vehicles.
“There will be a lot of big, exciting things happening” when the museum opens this spring, Cook said.
“It’ll be cool for the local people,” he added. “There will be things they’ll get to see that you would normally have to travel hours and hours to see.”
In addition to the exhibits and events, Cook envisions the museum as a stopping point for monster truck drivers when traveling to different shows.
Scott Hess will lead the remodeling effort for the former Eagles building.
In the announcement video, Cook said a monster truck parade is planned, possibly in April, with an open house anticipated in May or June.
“I want to take this opportunity to welcome the Monster Truck Hall of Fame to the City of Butler,” Mayor Mike Hartman said in a video recording. “We’re very excited you have decided to make your new home here.
“I think it’s going to be a big benefit to the City of Butler, and it’s going to be a big benefit to the museum as well,” Hartman said. “We can’t wait for you to get started and see where this takes us in the near future.”
Cook said Hartman reached out to him prior to the Butler Harvest Festival in October and invited Cook to bring a monster truck to the festival.
“We were standing there visiting, and I said, ‘We would sure like to have our own home one of these days,’” Cook said in the video.
“He says, ‘What about this building we have in town? We would love to have you here,’” Cook added.
A few days later, they visited the former Eagles lodge.
“This has a lot of potential,” Cook said of the building in the video. “We’ll have some renovations we’ll have to do. The building’s only 20 years old, and it’s in very good shape.
“This is going to be for the whole monster truck family,” he continued. “We want this to be here when we’re long gone. We want this to be for generations upon generations down the road to tell the story of how monster trucks have brought joy to our lives.”