Category:
Parades and Festivals

American Legion Parades of Yore



Today, the average upstanding citizen is a pale shadow of his or her riotous ancestors. We don't drink as much or smoke as much or act goofy in public as much (despite the roll call of weird behaviors as collected by our Fearless Leader, Chuck.)

Look at this boring clip of a contemporary American Legion parade from last year.

Then view this account from 1947, when randy old codger Legionnaires rode bucking ATVs through the streets, poured water from hotel windows, and shocked innocent women with cattle prods (probably the very ones sold through Johnson Smith catalogs, as shown earlier on WU).

Now, answer truly: which era would you rather live in?

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Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 27, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Hobbies and DIY, Parades and Festivals, 1940s, Pranks

Bowdoinham’s 100-year Savings Fund: Part 2

I posted two weeks ago about Bowdoinham, the town that put money away back in 1912 to fund its 250th Anniversary party this year. I sent an email to the Bowdoinham Historical Committee trying to get more details and recently received this response:

the outcome of that story was that, yes, funding remained intact and has grown substantially after all these years.
There was $500.00 originally raised in 1912- mostly small donations of .25 here and there (it was a lot then!). It all added up. Remarkably, it stayed intact and is now being used to sponsor the many activities that Bowdoinham is planning in celebration during the coming year. You can read about it here: http://bowdoinham250.org/
 There will be some funds reserved and kept to seed future celebrations. We are very fortunate that members of our town had the foresight to do this for us!

So their 100-year plan was actually a success! They didn't reveal (at least, not to me) how much money their plan created, but a 1912 article in The Youth's Companion calculated that if they raised $400, they should have around $20,000 in 2012, assuming an interest rate of 4 percent. Since they raised $500, they should have a bit more than that. Enough to have a nice party, but not enough to make them all millionaires.

The Youth's Companion article also revealed that a box was buried in 1912 containing various curiosities, and it should be opened sometime this year:

In a sealed box, to be opened at the time of the celebration in 2012, were placed, among other things, letters from scores of those who contributed to the fund. Many of the letters were from Bowdoinham people, or the descendants of Bowdoinham people in other states or in foreign lands. In some cases the writers described the probable Bowdoinham of 2012 or the imagined conditions of life at that time. No doubt the letters will create much amusement when they are read a century from now.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 13, 2012 - Comments (2)
Category: Money, Parades and Festivals

The Town That’s Been Waiting 100 Years for 2012

Here's a story that ran in the Oakland Tribune (and quite a few other papers) back in March 1912:

bowdoinham

So 100 years has now elapsed. What happened to the money? Is it still there? Did it grow into millions of dollars? I'm curious to know.

Bowdoinham still has a 250th Anniversary Committee, so I guess I'll send them an email. I'll report back when I have more details.





More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 01, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Money, Parades and Festivals

Spam Jam

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 18, 2011 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism

les fêtes étranges

Awhile back I posted a link on here to an article about strange places to visit. More recently I wrote about unusual contests. Now I can combine the two! Men's magazine askmen.com has created a list of what they think are the top ten weird festivals held around the globe each year. For example, there's the Cow Painting Festival held in Luxembourg each summer. And you probably shouldn't miss the Moose Dropping Festival in Talkeetna, Alaska in July. Plus there's the So Joo Festival in Porto, Portugal in June - bring a hammer! You can see the entire list here.

Posted By: Nethie - Sun Oct 10, 2010 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Customs, Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Magazines, Parades and Festivals

Neptune Party

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Perhaps you've heard of the naval ceremonies involved when a ship crosses the Equator.


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Well, here's how our virile warriors used to celebrate the occasion. Not sure what happens in today's co-ed Navy.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 16, 2010 - Comments (6)
Category: Military, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Parades and Festivals, Patriotism, Fetishes, 1940s, Gender-bending

Bathing Suit Day

In 1952, the town of Myrtle Beach, SC, decreed "Bathing Suit Day," during which non-compliers would be "arrested" and "jailed."

Click on each photo for details.

All from the Life archives.

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Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 21, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, 1950s

Bill Willamson, RIP

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Let us all pause to honor the memory of Bill Williamson, Nevada resident, deceased last week, who taught his various dogs to drive a car in the annual Nevada Day Parade. Read his obituary here.

(Nevada Appeal file photo)

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 17, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, Dogs

All Hail Marshmallow Fluff!

Every year the people of Massachusetts celebrate one of their most noble products, Marshmallow Fluff, in a festival called "What the Fluff." A prime component of the festival are the dancers known as the Flufferettes. Watch them below, then take a tour of the Fluff factory.

Read about the latest festival here.







Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 27, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, North America

Sunflower Carnival

What is weirder? The fact that our ancestors dedicated a festival to the humble sunflower, or the fact that we don't?

In any case, here are some shots from the 1899 Sunflower Carnival Parade, Colorado Springs, Colorado, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

As always, click to enlarge.

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Posted By: Paul - Tue May 12, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Agriculture, Parades and Festivals, Political Correctness, Regionalism, Nineteenth Century

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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