June is that month which signals the beginning of summer, hurricane season, outdoor activities, and, with our extreme heat in mind, indoor activities. Before The COVID placed us in an alternate world of "wait and see," we could comfortably plan for our usual wealth of summer festivals. Our Louisiana June calendar of events would (and perhaps still will) dazzle us with much to choose from. Here in Louisiana, every species of critter knows to run for its life as we have entire food/cooking/music/dance/craft festivals celebrating (and eating) such creatures. Crawfish (bless 'em) reign supreme in springtime yet will grace us into June. Shrimp, gator, fish, and an array of warm-blooded animals are also at risk for our culinary celebrations. And if you fancy a vegetarian-friendly style of festing, you are in luck as just about anything grown in Louisiana soil is revered and relished—Peach, Corn, Strawberry, and Watermelon Festivals are throughout our summer months. Did I forget Okra? Our region also offers garden/flower, waterways, trails, architecture, and history tours. Events abound. Obviously there's music, always music, either as an entrée or a side dish! I'm exhausted already!
But wait, there's more!
In cruising Mr. Google for things to celebrate and or participate in without diving into a crowd of people, just in case The COVID continues to wage war, I found a fabulous list of meaningful and/or very stupid things to at least acknowledge, if not actually celebrate. Did you know that there is a calendar for each month with little known treasures (and crap) marking each day? I limited myself to June as it alone had over 100 "things" of interest (or not) to be recognized, respected, or even ridiculed, like National Jerky Day on June 12. In this case, I prefer to tweak it to National Jerk Day as we all know a person that fits this billing and why not give 'em a special day!
The COVID's disruption of festivities normally requiring group participation led to the reconfiguration of events. And nowhere has proven to be a better "good sport" about re-imagining and re-imaging celebrations than NOLA. Even before there was a health threat to contend with, we knew how to spin disappointments and disaster into a party, albeit with dark over-tones. Remember No Bowl and its "Blackout and Gold Second-Line Parade," our answer to a Super Bowl that was stolen from us in 2019? How about Sink-hole de Mayo? Come on, nobody celebrates sinkholes with such aplomb. And Mardi Gras 2006 took the tragedy of Katrina and gave us a cathartic way to defy it, to laugh through our tears. During this pandemic, we've became Virtual Vibe and Verve Virtuosos. This Mardi Gras, we gave our streets a rest and took to our porches, allowing everyone their own float and krewe. WWOZ gifted us Festing in Place to celebrate and honor Jazz Festival. Plague or no plague, we will party here, and hopefully, with respect for the safety of others.
I segued from June's calendar of events for a moment to sneak in proud shout-outs to my city's delightful propensity to be innovative. But even in a region such as ours that is flush with so much to celebrate, there's still room for additional reasons to greet each day as unique and crown it with its own party hat. Let's start with Flip a Coin Day, which holds court on June 1 (there're several to choose from). It gave me permission to "flip a coin" as to what to pencil in on my calendar. Yes, they still make paper calendars you can hang on your wall. Mine has ridiculously cute kittens as pin-ups for each month and, unlike my phone, there is no annoying ding each day to remind me of too many things to forget to do. And frankly, how do you say "no" to kittens as they remind you of that
Even though Flip a Coin Day helped me narrow down my daily celebrations to one-a-day, there are still 29 obligations/commitments/quirky "special days" left in June to tend to. And all are reasons to bounce out of bed and brush those teeth (with masking ending you might as well resume that good habit now). And who wouldn't jump for joy on National Bubba Day or take a spin on World Bicycle Day or toast your cat with a can of Fancy Feast on Hug Your Cat Day? And ya gotta love Get Out and Exercise with Your Plants Day (what the Hell?) and this will get you fit for National Weed Your Garden Day (shorten it to National Weed Day if you're not into exercise). I have personalized this monthly list of events and dedicated June 7 and June 9 to celebrate, respectively, my sister Susan's B-Day and (if I could have a brother, he would be mine) Paul's Birthday. And National Phil Lindsey Day is already included in Father's Day on June 20.
June 22 is National Columnist Day, and my editors are welcome to send gifts of cash to me or just continue to let me write for them. There's an array special days that my word count has exceeded. I will pick one more, however—National Hug Day on June 29. This was stolen from me by The COVID and I want it back. So, point of this column is: there are many things to do and celebrate, so get busy!.