Happy National Pollinator Week and Vanilla Milkshake Day!: The Many “Holidays” Celebrated in DC

Take a moment to think about pollinators.

In the past few months, DC establishments have celebrated National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, National Day of Puppetry, and National Bourbon Day. Last week alone hosted events for National Pollinator Week and National Vanilla Milkshake Day.

DC spots seem to celebrate any day of recognition that comes along. After all, if a ‘national day of something’ isn’t acknowledged in the nation’s capital, then what good is it anyway? And with all of the advocacy groups, associations, institutes, and businesses in the city, there is always traction for a niche interest.

Officially declaring a point on the calendar a national something requires government involvement–Congress actually spends significant time on these so-called “commemoratives.”

But others, including many, many national food days, don’t appear to have any official recognition. (Did you know that June is–curiously–both National Candy Month and National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month? It is also the month of the papaya. Additionally, this week honors watermelon seed-spitting. This could go on forever.)

Here, a few of the days/weeks/months dedicated to recognizing off-beat interests, causes, and goods that have taken place recently, and what local groups did to celebrate them:

Worldwide Knit in Public Day

The Textile Museum in Dupont Circle welcomed knitters–and crocheters, needle-pointers, embroiderers, and cross-stitchers–to have a picnic in the museum garden and work on their crafts together for Worldwide Knit in Public Day.  The day began in 2005 as “a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company in what is usually a solitary activity,” according to the museum.

National Pi Day

A benefit party in Mount Pleasant on March 14 (3/14, you see?), a.k.a. Pi Day, featured all-you-can-eat pie, music, and a pie walk at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church (donations benefited a local radio station).

National Day of Puppetry

The Puppet Company outside DC in Glen Echo, Md., recognized National Day of Puppetry with five puppet performances in one day. Pinocchio for the kids and an adults-only Puppetry Slam in the evening (for the grown-up kids).

National Pollinator Week

National Museum of Natural History educators were on hand at their butterfly garden last week to talk pollination. An interesting topic, considering the struggling bee population. (Which, in contrast to how I view many of these other topics, is no joke!)

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

I’d like to see grilled cheese join the ranks of burgers, pizza, and cupcakes in terms of debate about where to find the best local offerings. Washingtonian Magazine put together a list of great grilled cheeses in the city for this holiday.

And now, back to preparing for National Waffle Iron Day.


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