The New Year shines bright with opportunity. Everywhere you look, all around the country, even all around the world, there are happenings designed to promote and encourage togetherness, celebration, and remembrance. Circumstances that bring many together as one, that forge bonds beyond boundaries. Where can you tap into this synergistic existence?
Chase's Calendar of Events.
Broadcasters and journalists are quite familiar with this perennial time filler (As are writers who need filler during the unusually preoccupied holiday season). Have :15 left before the break? Announce that “Today is Wonderful Weirdo’s Day! So go hug your favorite weirdo!” (September 9th). Is there a blank column inch or two in the Life section of the February 12th edition of the daily? Fill it up with celebrity birthdays (Arsenio Hall, Abraham Lincoln, Chynna Phillips, Tracey Kelley).
In fact, a newspaper librarian, Bill Chase, and his publishing brother Harrison started Chase’s because feature writers often asked Bill for story ideas, as he kept a file on a variety of events and dates in history worth noting. The brothers thought others could benefit from a one-stop source of such information, so in 1957, they published their first pamphlet. According to Chase’s history, the first volume was only 32 pages long, and cost one dollar. More than four decades later, the guide is 700 pages long and contains more than 12,000 entries.
It costs a little more than a dollar now, too.
Apparently, a lot of people wanted quick reference to dates of amazing events, such TV Talk Show Host Day (October 23rd); National Lawn-Mower Tune-Up Month (March); Be Nice to Jersey Week (July 6th-12th); and Fish Amnesty Day (September 22nd).
Of course, there are a few state, national, and international holidays to recognize, including Mardi Gras Day, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday (a state holiday in Louisiana, usually celebrated in February); President’s Day in America (the 3rd Monday in February); Recreation Day in Northern Tasmania, Australia (November 3rd); and St. James Day in Spain (July 25th).
There are also the more serious observances, such as World AIDS Day (December 1st); Native American Citizenship Day (June 15th) (Native Americans weren’t officially American citizens until 1925); National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October); and the anniversary of September 11th, which is still without an official moniker.
What’s truly interesting about Chase’s is that almost anything can be submitted, and if it’s considered worthy of public attention, it’s printed. Maybe that explains why we can all get together to celebrate the simple things in life, such as:
January 27th – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. ”A day to celebrate the joy that bubble wrap brings to our lives. Go ahead and pop some with friends.”
May 30th – Hug Your Cat Day.
August 10th – National Duran Duran Appreciation Day. ”This is a day for everyone to enjoy the underrated beauty of 80’s rock icon, Duran Duran.”
October 5th-11th – Squirrel Awareness Week. Sponsored by, you guessed it, the Squirrel Lover’s Club.
"The underrated beauty..." of Duran Duran?
The current publishers of Chase’s acknowledge that if something has entertainment value, it’s allowed publication. That’s why a group known as Wellcat Holidays can promote the following:
March 3rd – What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Days.
March 27th – Quirky Country Music Titles Day.
May 8th – No Socks Day.
There are days listed in Chase’s that you know, regardless of historical or cultural significance, have been entered by college students strictly for an excuse to party:
April 30th – Walpurgis Night. ”The eve of May Day, the feast of St. Walpurgis, the protectress of the magic arts. Mostly celebrated by German college students.”
June 27th – The Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival in Morehead, MN. We keep hoping for a stateside visit from Sigbjørn on this occasion, but so far, no luck.
July 5th – Anniversary of When the Bikini Debuted.
July 7th-13th – Nude Recreation Week.
September 9th – Bonza Bottler Day. ”To celebrate when the number of the day is the same as the number of the month, as to have an ‘excuse to have a party once a month.’”
Many contributors to Chase’s genuinely want to make the world a better place, and hope that calendar observances will stimulate some sort of action:
February 1st-28th – National “Single and Searching?” Month. ”A month [and sales pitch] dedicated to those who are truly committed to finding the right person for them.”
May 18th – Visit Your Relatives Day.
August 10th-16th – National Resurrect Romance Week.
August 25th – Kiss and Make Up Day. ”A day to make amends.”
December 1st-31st – National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month.
September 1st – Pause the World Day.
September 28th – National Good Neighbor Day.
Notice there's not a Suck Up to the Editor Day. Yet.
Of course, no type of celebration would be complete without food, so why not just celebrate the food itself? Myriad promotional weeks are dedicated to barbecue, catfish, garlic, pecans and corn. Whole months are devoted to kiwi, peanuts and peaches. However, let us not forget:
July 20th – National Ice Cream Day.
October 1st-31st – National Cookie Month.
October 5th – Spinach Lover’s Day.
November 1st-30th – Vreneli’s Chasteilet Month. ”Swiss for ‘dividing the cheeses’, Vreneli’s gives you the opportunity to have cheese delivered from your very own rented cow in the Swiss Alps.”
If you’d like to make a contribution, note that there’s not a whole lot going on December 3rd and the general week of May 25th-May 31st. Talk about having a whole day – or week – to yourself.
There’s also not a lot going on February 10th, except the anniversary of the TV premiere of “My Friend Flicka”. Perhaps we should also declare February 10th as:
Joe Procopio Day. ”A day which is used to honor the esteemed founder and publisher of Intrepid Media. ‘Rupert Murdock? I got ‘cher Murdock right heah.’”
Actually, keeping in line with Shameless Promotion Month, (September 1st-30th) the annual Intrepid Media Event in September has been registered with Chase’s as the 2nd weekend of that month. If accepted, it should appear yearly beginning with the 2004 version.
And why shouldn't it be? It's not like they know who we are.
Tracey likes to shake things up and then take the lid off. She also likes to keep the peace, especially in a safe, fuzzy place. Writer, editor, producer, yogini, ('cause yoger or yogor simply doesn't work) by day, rabid WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething! player by night. You can follow her on Twitter: @traceylkelley or @tkyogaforyou
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
12.27.02 @ 8:42a
Anyone else note that "Nude Recreation Week" is the same week as the writer's workshop in Taos that several fellow Intrepidites have previously discussed attending?
Afraid. Officially afraid.
12.27.02 @ 9:26a
I thought it was pretty funny that "Nude Recreation Week" followed the debut of the bikini so closely.
Yep. Taos should be a hoot.
12.27.02 @ 11:55a
This has me thinking... maybe I should submit Festive Shmoe Day. Although it hasn't officially been celebrated in years, I think it was in early December. I see that the 3rd is open...
12.27.02 @ 10:21p
Oh John, do tell what Festive Shmoe Day is.
12.28.02 @ 4:14p
Well, if the writer's workshop is a nude recreational one, I might consider going.