Category: States & Destinations

  • NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY | November 10

    NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY | November 10

    On November 10 we celebrate National Civic Pride Day and inspire everyone to promote the dynamic communities they live in.

    #NationalCivicPrideDay

    Civic pride belongs to the people who are at the heart of the city they live in. It brings communities together and encourages everyone to feel a sense of pride by creating and maintaining a healthy city or town. Today, we want to inspire everyone to get involved in their community and show support by improving the place you live and work.

    Why is civic pride important? The importance of civic pride means every community member feels a sense of pride for where they live. The people who live in a community are the same people who help their hometowns become better places to live. Businesses, schools, public service agencies, and community members all contribute to the efforts of making their community thrive. These contribution efforts are called civic pride.

    How can I support civic pride? Supporting civic pride is easy to do. In fact, most people participate in civic pride and don’t realize it. Participating in civic pride is essential for any community member. It builds trust between members in the community and in office, keeps dialog open about key issues, and creates better relationships between all residents. Civic pride:

    • Enables citizens to influence local laws and policies that effect their community.
    • Helps promote and learn local values of businesses and residents.
    • Supports economic growth.
    • Encourages people who are overlooked or underheard to become a part of solutions and ideas.

    Community Engagement

    Engagement or participating in civic pride is when any member or groups of members engage in public concerns, issues, or activities. When community members work together to protect the public interests and improve the standard of living within their community, the values of civic pride are taking place. Addressing and promoting concerns and ideas increases the quality of life for every member of a community.

    Support for civic pride is needed in every city and town to encourage fair democracy. The importance of having  representation for all demographic backgrounds is essential. Oftentimes, minority groups feel underrepresented in communities because many are unaware of the benefits of civil engagement. Good civic engagement encourages everyone in their community to become a part of civic pride. It also means providing opportunities in neighborhoods to engage in civic pride.

    Symbolism of Civic Pride

    Many towns and cities across the world have their own symbol of civic pride. Normally, the symbolism is in the form of a landmark, such as a statue, monument or special marker. In fact, you can find most of these items in the middle of the town, such as a center or town square.

    The United States has amazing places to visit and explore. You can find the real meaning behind civic pride when you realize how communities work together to provide visitors an unforgettable experience.

    Extraordinary Civic Pride Destinations

    • Griffith Observatory – California
    • Cliff Palace – Colorado
    • Amana Colonies – Iowa
    • Cabildo – Louisiana
    • Faneuil Hall- Massachusetts
    • September 11 Memorial and Museum – New York
    • Chaco Culture National Historical Park – New Mexico
    • Fort Union Trading Post – North Dakota
    • Fort Sumter – South Carolina
    • The Alamo – Texas
    • United States Capital – Washington, DC

    PARTICIPATE IN CIVIC PRIDE

    • Volunteer for an organization in your community.
    • Attend fundraisers that raise money for community projects.
    • Start a community garden to encourage community engagement.
    • Participate in regular clean-up weeks to keep your city looking nice.
    • Work with the local tourist agency to encourage visitors to your city.
    • Provide information about ways to get involved in organizations.
    • Share your story and photos of civic pride engagement and post on social media using #NationalCivicPrideDay

    FOUNDER OF NATIONAL CIVIC PRIDE DAY

    Explore Houma and National Day Calendar announce the newly founded National Civic Pride Day to be celebrated each year on November 10. The idea to create the day started with Explore Houma’s efforts to revitalize their downtown. They promote a strong belief for residents to have pride in their hometown and encourage everyone to participate and value to their city. 

    A Look Back

    Civic pride has been around for a very long time. In fact, people around the world have always participated in ways to make their communities better. For Americans, the war of 1812 played a pivotal roll in how our country would unite as one and step away from the identification of single states or territories.

    During the war of 1812, people were identifying with the colony they lived in. For example, people from Maryland were Marylanders, while people from Virginia were Virginians. Whether you were fighting for the British or fighting for the Americans, the split between people who all lived in the United States began thinking about one group of people as Americans. In addition, the creation of the American flag during this time also became a prominent symbol uniting all people in the nation.

  • NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

    NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

    The third Saturday in October is National Whole Hog Barbecue Day and we invite you to indulge in one of the South’s most revered traditions.

    #WholeHogBarbecueDay

    Wood smoke and smoldering charcoal are a sign of the season. Traditionally cooked over wood and charcoal, whole-hog barbecue uses the whole pig, everything from the nose to the tail. Every year, pitmasters and barbecue lovers from all over the Southeast celebrate National Whole Hog Barbecue Day coinciding with North Carolina’s historic State Fair in October.

    The tradition of whole-hog barbecue started in Eastern North Carolina and dates back over 350 years to the first settlers in the region. Although barbecue lovers may disagree on the best type of barbecue sauce for their pork, everyone agrees that vinegar-based chopped whole-hog barbecue is where it all began.

    Smoking a whole hog takes anywhere between 10-12 hours, and requires attention to keep it smoky and cooking at a consistently low temperature. As long as you have a pit, hard-wood charcoal with oak or hickory, plenty of time and something brown to drink, you can create this delicious Southern delight. Whether you have a homemade brick pit or a custom-made steel fire box, the trick is to keep the cooking temperature steady and low. However you decide to smoke your hog, extra help is always appreciated to do the heavy lifting, including flipping the pig a few hours into the cooking process.

    Seasoned Hog Tips

    Seasoning your whole hog depends on your preferences. But traditionalists will lightly salt the pig before cooking, and after flipping use their own special blend of vinegar-based sauce with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Many pitmasters use plenty of sauce throughout the cooking process to keep the hog moist and juicy as the hog renders down in the last few hours of cooking. The more the better!

    What is a pitmaster? Technically, a pitmaster is someone who oversees cooking done in a barbecue pit. But, a pitmaster is more than that. A pitmaster is considered an expert in the field of barbecue. They control the temperature, along with the flavor output of the meat. Most importantly, they make sure the barbecue is kept tender during the cooking process. At the end, during the chopping, they taste and add dry seasoning and sauce to make the perfect-tasting barbecue.

    Famous Pitmasters

    • Kiki Longo
    • Max Lavoie
    • Aaron Franklin
    • Greg Hatem
    • Myron Mixon
    • Rob Rainford
    • Ted Reader
    • Steven Raichlen

    SMOKIN’ FUN

    • Gather your recipes and get cooking!
    • Host a pig pickin’ with whole-hog barbecue or attend a festival where you can taste some of the best in the country.
    • Give a shout-out to the best pitmasters out there.
    • Let us know if you like your barbecue sauce sweet, spicy, or both?
    • Attend a whole hog barbecue competition.
    • Attend the North Carolina State Fair.
    • Share and post your #WholeHogBarbecueDay celebrations on social media.

    NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY HISTORY

    In 2022,The Pit Authentic Barbecue in Raleigh, North Carolina, founded National Whole Hog Barbecue Day to celebrate the traditions and history associated with whole hog barbecue. Each year during the third Saturday in October, we recommend everyone find some place to host or attend a whole hog barbecue celebration.

    The tradition started in 1980 in Halifax County, North Carolina, when friends reunited at the Roanoke River for a pig pickin’. Then in 1983, the tradition moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where friends gathered again during the third weekend in October to go to the N.C. State Fair and celebrate the fall harvest with whole-hog barbecue. The festivities moved to downtown Raleigh in 2007 with the opening of The Pit Authentic Barbecue, which has been serving whole-hog barbecue ever since. The restaurant opened for guests in Raleigh who didn’t have time to drive into Eastern North Carolina to get their taste of whole-hog barbecue.

    Whole-hog barbecue is such an important part of North Carolina’s culinary heritage, in 1985, the North Carolina Pork Council organized and sanctioned the first Whole Hog Barbecue Championship. It has become the culmination of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series local competitions across the region. The chefs who qualify in the local events come together to duke it out for the title of Champion. 

    Many people across the country consider grilling to be barbecue. However, if you ask any North Carolinian, barbecue has always been referred to as pork. Since the early settlers in the 1500s, pork has been the king of barbecue. In fact, there is historical evidence showing natives of the West Indies roasting meat over wood coals. It wasn’t until the 1600s the technique of cooking barbecue became adapted by everyone in the South. Even George Washington loved a good pig pickin’, journaling about going to a “barbicue” near Halifax, North Carolina, in the 1790s.

    The Great Debate

    There is a great debate about barbecue sauce. The eastern parts of North Carolina lean towards a clear sauce made with vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. The western parts of North Carolina add sugar and ketchup to their sauce, creating a light red sauce.

    Developed in the late 1600s, vinegar sauce was born out of convenience. Colonists would use ingredients available to them to make their barbecue sauce, which was also used to preserve the meat. Unfortunately, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous so using them was not an option. It wasn’t until around the early 1800s tomatoes were finally considered to be safe to eat, which was about the time settlers came down to Western North Carolina and started adding tomatoes and brown sugar to the vinegar-based sauce. In addition, unlike their Eastern North Carolina neighbors, they would cook only the shoulder of the hog, not the entire pig. As for our barbecue brethren in South Carolina, they added mustard to their whole-hog barbecue sauce.

    Today, depending on where you live in North Carolina, barbecue sauce changes slightly. There could possibly be hundreds or thousands of sauces with different spices. Subtle differences in sauce occur about every 50 miles within the state. Interestingly, North Carolina also has a debate on how you should eat barbecue. Some like it chopped, while others like it pulled. But everyone enjoys pulling right off the pig in a traditional pig pickin’.

    DATES
    15 October 2022
    21 October 2023
    19 October 2024
    18 October 2025
    17 October 2026
    16 October 2027
    21 October 2028
    20 October 2029
    19 October 2030
    18 October 2031
    16 October 2032

  • NATIONAL SMARTIES DAY | October 2

    NATIONAL SMARTIES® DAY | October 2

    National Smarties Day on October 2 celebrates the sweet legacy of an iconic candy and the smarty pants people who never stop learning.

    #NationalSmartiesDay

    Smarties have been around since 1949. That’s over 70 years of celebrating this sweet candy wafer roll. In honor of National Smarties Day, we invite everyone to take a walk down memory lane and enjoy this nostalgic candy. If you’ve never tried Smarties, this is your chance to become a new member of the smarty pants club.

    What are Smarties? Smarties are rolls of a small pastel colored candy tablets that are sweet and a little bit sour. Unlike most candy, Smarties have only 6 ingredients, too. There are six different flavors in a Smarties package. Flavors are randomly mixed together for each individual Smarties roll.

    Smarties Original Flavor Lineup

    • White = Orange cream
    • Yellow = Pineapple
    • Pink = Cherry
    • Green = Strawberry
    • Purple = Grape
    • Orange = Orange

    A Smart Choice

    When it comes to candy, Smarties are considered a smart choice. For starters, Smarties are free from the nine major food allergies: milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy and sesame.

    If you are at a loss for classic gluten‑free candy, Smarties products are your delicious solution. The sweet treat is also gluten-free. Interestingly, the ingredients found in Smarties candy contains no animal products, making them a tasty and cruelty-free choice for anyone looking for delicious vegan candy. Did we mention they are only 25 calories in each roll of Smarties? 

    SMARTIE PANTS CELEBRATIONS

    There are an endless number of ways to celebrate today. If your candy cravings are keeping you from thinking straight, here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

    • Incorporate some Smarties in your favorite sweet treat. Use as a topping on ice cream, jello, or cake. You can even bake them in cookies, brownies or mix into homemade jam!
    • Create a DIY “Smartie Pants” Halloween costume.
    • Craft a thank you note for teachers and tape a Smarties roll to it.
    • Use Smarties as a teaching tool to learn to count, identify colors, match items, and build shapes to help with motor skills.
    • Make up your best Smarties pun or go with the classic, “Thanks for making me a Smartie!”
    • Eat a roll of Smarties, of course. Or maybe two.
    • Pick up some Smarties Mega Lollies for a friend.
    • Tag and post your Smarties celebration using #NationalSmartiesDay.

    CLASSIC HISTORY

    In 2022, National Day Calendar welcomed the Smarties Candy Company to our list of Founders. Beginning October 2 and every year after, we will be celebrating National Smarties Day in sweet style. The October 2 date also pays a beautiful tribute to the birthday of company Founder and Smarties creator Edward Dee, who was born on this day.

    Edward Dee, Smarties Founder
    Edward Dee, Smarties Founder 1924-2019

    Iconic Legacy

    Edward Dee (1924-2019) came to the U.S. from England with his family in 1949. As a third-generation candy maker, Dee arrived with a candy idea that would build his legacy. Beginning in a factory in Bloomfield, N.J., Dee began Ce De Candy Inc. in a rental property with two machines–a wrapping machine and a candy pellet-making machine. Dee would move his company to Elizabeth, N.J. in 1959 and finally to Union, N.J. in 1967, where the business remains today.

    Smarties Co-Presidents
    Co-Presidents Sarah Dee, Jessica Dee Sawyer and Liz Dee

    In 2011, the company decided to change their name from Ce De Candy Inc. to Smarties Candy Company. The Dee family has always been sole owners of the company, keeping their family tradition alive. In the 1970s, Dee’s sons Jonathan and Michael joined the business. The company is now led by the founder’s granddaughters, Co-Presidents Sarah Dee, Jessica Dee Sawyer and Liz Dee, making it a woman run company for the first time in its history.

    There have been many updates over the years including improving manufacturing facilities, adding solar power to their NJ candy factory which offsets half of their energy usage, and releasing new candy products including Mega Smarties – the largest Smarties roll available!

    A Sweet Future

    Education was an important aspect in Dee’s life long before he would immigrate to the U.S. He was a Cambridge University graduate and he knew the value of education. Because of this, he decided to name his candy Smarties as a way to encourage others to never stop learning. In 2013 the company began the “Smarties Think” initiative to continue his vision. Since then, Smarties has given more than $250,000 to classrooms in need.

    The early days of Edward Dee going door-to-door to make candy sales clearly paid off. Today, the Smarties brand continues to be a leader in the candy industry producing billions of Smarties rolls per year. With factories in New Jersey and Ontario, the Dee family continues the tradition of providing an iconic candy for smarty pants people everywhere.

  • SOURDOUGH SEPTEMBER

    SOURDOUGH SEPTEMBER

    Sourdough September celebrates the world’s oldest leavened bread, giving everyone a chance to enjoy this delicious delight the entire month.

    #SourdoughSeptember

    The entire month of September provides opportunity for bread baker’s across the world to share their talent of making sourdough bread. Initially starting as a campaign, this month long bread holiday has turned into a food celebration.

    What is sourdough bread? Unlike dry yeast breads, sourdough bread begins from a “starter” that contains a live culture of yeast. Interestingly, a sourdough starter can be a saved piece of sourdough bread from a previous or old piece of bread. The “sour” part of the dough is created by adding water and flour every week to the old piece of bread until it becomes fermented. Basically, a process naturally occurs between the yeast and “good” bacteria causes the mixture to sour and prompts growth. That growth eventually becomes a loaf of bread.

    Can you make a sourdough starter from scratch? Making a sourdough starter is super easy. You want to make wild yeast, which is 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water mixed into a paste. Over a period of about seven days, you’re going to remove, add, feed, and mix your wild yeast. You can visit any baking website on the Internet for a standard recipe. However, you might want to ask a family member if they have a recipe before you search the world wide web.

    Did You Know?

    • It is believed sourdough originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC.
    • It appears the French bakers receive credit for bringing sourdough bread to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush in 1848.
    • San Francisco bakers are using the same sourdough culture used during the Gold Rush. In fact, to this day bakers refer to it to as the “Mother dough.”
    • Louise Boudin risked her life to save the original “Mother dough” during the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
    • You should bake sourdough bread in glass because the metal in baking sheets causes the dough to corrode.

    Is sourdough bread healthier than other breads? Yes! Sourdough bread is considered to be the least processed bread because of so few ingredients. It’s also easier to digest because the bread acts as a prebiotic, meaning the bread fiber helps to process the good bacteria found in intestines. Good bacteria helps us maintain a healthy digestive system. Furthermore, sourdough bread has been known reduce the rate starches are digested in the intestines. lowering the glycemic index.

    Not Just a Bread

    There are other uses for your sourdough recipes besides standard bread. In fact, sourdough can be used for several other things, such as:

    • Crackers
    • English muffins
    • Pancakes
    • Biscuits
    • Pizza crust
    • Pretzels
    • Rolls
    • Pie Crust

    CELEBRATING SOURDOUGH 

    • Share your sourdough recipe with family.
    • Bake real sourdough bread and deliver it to friends.
    • Buy 100% genuine sourdough bread from a local bakery.
    • Host a sourdough baking party, complete with condiments to go with your fresh sourdough bread.
    • Create several sourdough starters, add baking instructions and give them away to neighbors.
    • Attend a sourdough baking class.
    • Enter a local bread baking contest with your sourdough recipe.
    • Raise money for the charity Sustain.
    • Tag and share your sourdough celebration on social media using #SourdoughSeptember.

    BEHIND SOURDOUGH SEPTEMBER

    In 2012, the Real Bread Campaign came up with an idea to get people to try, buy, or make their own sourdough. This food month began as a campaign to promote the benefits of real sourdough bread. Though the Real Bread Campaign celebrates food throughout the year, this month long food holiday shines the light on the baker’s who put time and effort into providing a genuine sourdough product.

    Each year the Real Bread Campaign encourages people to celebrate through sharing. In fact, they encourage bakers and bread lovers to add their sourdough event to their Real Bread Calendar. Their website provides several tips and ideas on how you can celebrate #SourdoughSeptember in your area.

    In 2022, follower Chris Young from Sustain reached out to National Day Calendar to request this trending holiday be added to our calendar. After researching it’s origins, we were convinced that this month long celebration was an excellent fix. Thank you Chris Young! If you would like more information about Sustain, you can email them at:

  • NATIONAL STATES AND CAPITALS DAY | September 22

    NATIONAL STATES AND CAPITALS DAY | September 22

    September 22 focuses on raising awareness and sharing education about all 50 states and their capitals on National States and Capitals Day.

    #NationalStatesandCapitalsDay

    As children, we learn about the 50 states and their capitals in the U.S. But as we get older, we tend to forget those important cities and their role in crafting policy and influencing the economy. And, while everybody knows their own state capital, many do not even remember the capital of the state next door. Today, let’s take the time to remind ourselves how important every state and capital is to our nation.

    Learning about States and Capitals

    Remember those paper maps we were given to learn about states and capitals? Our worksheet had blank states with star indicating where the capital was supposed to be. The agony of naming each state and capital was definitely stressful! We spent time memorizing names, where the state was and naming each capital. Not to mention spelling everything correctly. Some of us were lucky to have a teacher that would play a game to help us remember.

    Typically, we learn about states and capitals between the grades 3-6, starting with the state we live in. From there, we learn our country has 50 states and 50 capitals within each state. All 50 capitals have a unique history, which means there are 50 reasons why a specific city or town was chosen to be a state capital. In addition, we eventually learn how governments operate and the vital roll each state plays in our national government.

    Are state capitals found in the largest cities of each states? No. The first state capitals were built according the where the majority of the population lived in a state, or near a main access hub. For example, North Dakota is home of National Day Calendar. Our state capital is Bismarck, but was once the capital of the Dakota Territory. The Northern Pacific Railroad was built to transfer goods from eastern U.S. to the west, making Bismarck the prime location for state government. Bismarck became the official state capital only after the territory was split into 2 states–North and South Dakota.

    Huh?

    • The letter Q is the only letter NOT found in any of the state names
    • Sweet Home, Alabama is a real place.
    • It’s illegal to bury people in San Francisco, California.
    • New Jersey has a volcano.
    • South Carolina has a place called Monkey Island, that has over 4,000 rhesus monkeys.
    • The state bird for Wisconsin is a plastic flamingo.
    • There are more chickens in Delaware than there are people.
    • The Empire State Building in New York has it’s own zip code.

    State Capitals in Small Cities

    • Juneau, Alaska, population est. 32,300.
    • Dover, Delaware, population est. 39,400.
    • Frankfort, Kentucky, population est. 28,600.
    • Augusta, Maine, population est. 18,900.
    • Annapolis, Maryland, population est. 40,800.
    • Jefferson City, Missouri, population est. 43,230.
    • Helena, Montana, population est. 32,100.
    • Concord, New Hampshire, population est. 4,000.
    • Pierre, South Dakota, population est. 14,100.
    • Montpelier, Vermont, population est. 8,100.

    LEARN YOUR STATES AND CAPITALS

    • Divide learning about states into regions to learn each region before moving on to the next.
    • Check out a book from the library each week on a specific state to learn facts. Return the book and pick another state until all states have been covered.
    • Learn fun facts about states. What famous people are from there? What kind of tourist attractions might be fun to visit?
    • Fix a puzzle with all 50 states and capitals.
    • Draw a map of the United States with the states and fill in the capitals, too.
    • Use Dick & Jane Educational Snacks to help your kids learn about states and capitals.
    • Tag your videos learning states and capitals on social media #NationalStatesandCapitalsDay.

    BEHIND NATIONAL STATES AND CAPITALS DAY

    Dick & Jane Educational Snacks receives credit for the idea to celebrate National States and Capitals Day on September 22. Not only does it raise awareness about the importance of knowing all 50 states and capitals, it reminds people to have fun while learning.

    Owners Dick & Jane (yes, those are their real names), have a passion for education. With a mission to bring a fun way for kids to enjoy learning, they set out to help kids enjoy learning through creating a business of healthy snacks that also serve as learning tools. Primarily geared for students K-8, their snacks can be used as a teaching tool to learn about:

    If you would like more information about Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, please contact:

    Alisha Beasley
    Business Development Manager
    Alisha@EducationalSnacks.us
    248-519-2418

  • 7 NEVADA DAY TRIPS

    Traveling outside of Las Vegas and Reno, you might get the idea that everything else in Nevada is out of the way. And that might be true, especially when you look over this list of 7 Nevada Day Trips. If you’re looking to get away from manufactured tourism and explore the Sagebrush State from a different perspective, this list is for you.

    1. Fly Ranch

    The 3,800-acre ranch is located in Nevada’s Hualapai Geothermal Flats and supports three magnificent geysers resulting from well drilling. The first began to form in 1916 after attempts to bring agriculture to the area through well-drilling. The water supplied by the geyser was both too hot and mineral-rich and began to form colorful cones. Two other geysers were created from similar attempts. In 2016, Burning Man purchased the land and private nature walks can be scheduled to see the geysers and hot springs.

    2. Tonopah, Nevada

    Located smack dab between Reno and Las Vegas, Tonopah honors Nevada’s mining history. Explore the Old Cemetery and Tonopah Historic Mining Park. As you meander around town, take in the many murals that decorate historic walls and depict the history of the town and the nation. Not far from the cemetery you can visit the Clown Museum located in the Mizpah Hotel. At night, be sure to gaze up at the night sky. You’ll see more stars than ever before!

    3. Rhyolite Ghost Town & Beatty, Nevada

    Up the road from Tonopah, stop to visit Rhyolite. The town became a victim of the boom and bust era of silver mining and eventually became a dusty, lonely ghost town. One of the most interesting remains is the house completely made from glass bottles and is no longer in Rhyolite but in the neighboring town of Beatty. Beatty is also home to the Goldwell Open Air Museum where you will find several permanent outdoor art displays. Beatty also boasts Death Valley Nut and Candy, the largest candy store in the United States.

    4. Route 50 – Loneliest Road in America

    U.S. Route 50 crosses some of the most barren landscapes in Nevada and earned the title “Loneliest Road in America.” Along Route 50 you’ll encounter remnants of the Sand Springs Pony Express Station, several wildlife areas including Lahontan State Recreation Area, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Mt. Hamilton, and Great Basin National Park, and other historic locations such as Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark. The highway also connects Carson City, Austin (home to the Paradise Ranch Castle B&B), Eureka, Ely, and Baker, Nevada. If you’re looking for a coast-to-coast trip, U.S. Route 50 connects California and Maryland with some desolate spots on the trail’s western half.

    5. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

    One of the most notable stops along Route 50 is Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park. Nestled in the Egan Mountain Range, six beehive-shaped charcoal ovens remain from the silver mining era. The park is also host to camping, hiking, and fishing.

    6. Metropolis Ghost Town

    Just outside of Wells, Nevada, this ghost town began as a shining beacon of hope in the early part of the 20th century. The Pacific Reclamation Company began developing plans for an agricultural community through irrigation called Metropolis. Even the name of the town suggests a thriving, vibrant community. The expectation of a true metropolis in the northeastern part of the state seemed more than possible as streets were graded and businesses were built. A school and post office seemed to be a mark of a bustling and growing town. However, lawsuits regarding the diversion of water from other communities created issues for investors and farmers alike. As a result, explorers can find many remnants of the town and no residents.

    7. Valley of Fire State Park

    Overton, Nevada is located just outside Valley of Fire State Park. Drive through or hike in Nevada’s oldest state park and take in the sandstone and red rock scenery. The wind-carved red rock formations give the park its name. Some of the most unique formations are located the Beehives and Atlatl Rock petroglyphs. When you return to Overton, be sure to check out the Lost City Museum.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

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  • 11 BEST BIEROCKS ACROSS KANSAS

    11 BEST BIEROCKS ACROSS KANSAS

    When you’re hungry the first thing to come to mind probably isn’t the word “bierock.” It doesn’t even sound like food. But it is. A cross between a sandwich and a hand pie, this tasty Eastern European stuffed roll is a Kansas staple. It’s made with ground beef, cabbage, and onions stuffed inside a yeast roll. An ethnic group known as the Volga Germans settled along the Volga River in western Russia and began immigrating to North and South America around 1875. Many of them settled in Kansas, and they brought with them the bierock. Whether you live in Kansas, are visiting, or just passing through, you’ll want to try these 11 Best Bierocks Across Kansas.

    1. Friendship House – Wamego

    On your way through the Land of Oz and the Oz Museum, stop in on a Saturday at the Friendship House in Wamego for their made-from-scratch and made fresh bierocks and soup.

    2. Becky’s Bierocks – St. Francis

    Fuel up on Becky’s Bierocks in St. Francis before heading out to the Arikaree Breaks. Drive along the public roads and explore the rugged territory of ravines and loess. The bakery offers three kinds of bierocks by the dozen. So, order ahead and for a crowd.

    3. M&M Bierock – Wichita

    Once known as the Bierock Kitchen, this little drive-thru restaurant harkens back to the days of Big Boy. Re-opened in 2007 by Mary Moran, the restaurant offers three kinds of bierocks including a ham and cheese version.

    4. Want Bierock – Wichita

    When bierock is in the name of the restaurant, you expect to see some specialty bierocks. And Want Bierock offers exactly that! Along with their piping hot coffee and espressos, they offer a breakfast bierock stuffed with potatoes, sausage, and sharp cheddar cheese. They also offer beef, chicken, and pork bierocks.

    5. Prost – Wichita

    For a complete German gastro experience, visit Prost. Spatzle, sauerkraut, pretzels, schnitzels and of course, a classic bierock. Enjoy the meal with choice German biers and wine.

    6. Gella’s (lbbrewing.com) -Hays

    Hays and Wichita seem to be bierock havens. Gella’s offers an eclectic mix of menu items including the Smothered Bierock. The diner is set inside LB Brewing and offers other German side dishes, including unique grebble.

    7. Augustine’s Bakery – Hays

    Besides offering a variety of cakes, pies, and rolls, Augustine’s Bakery also offers several German favorites including kuchen, spitzbuben, and of course, bierocks.

    8. Runza – St. Lawrence

    Bierocks are also known as runzas in some parts of the Midwest. At Runza, the menu offers nine different bierock/runza sandwiches plus miniture runzas. The business began in 1949 and has since grown into a franchise with several locations across Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and Iowa.

    9. CB Baked Goods – Marion

    Offering traditional bierocks as part of their menu, CB Baked Goods also offers one of its own creations called a bolso. After spending an afternoon at the Marion Reservoir, a bierock from CB Baked Goods will hit the spot!

    10. Amanda’s – Abilene

    While in Abilene, visit the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and then stop by Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro to fuel up on delicious soup, sandwiches, and salads. And don’t forget to order a classic bierock.

    11. Bierocks Babe – Andover

    If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly bierock, then head to Andover, KS. Bierocks Babe offers both a traditional and vegan bierock. And don’t forget to order baklava, too.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

  • NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY – JULY 20

    In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!

    National Pennsylvania Day | July 20
    National Pennsylvania Day | July 20

    NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY | JULY 20

    National Pennsylvania Day on July 20th recognizes the second state to join the Union. Once the home of the temporary capital of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is also known as the Keystone State. While the source of the nickname has been forgotten, the meaning is not lost. Bridge builders know leaving the vital keystone out of their structure would be folly, leading to collapse.

    #NationalPennsylvaniaDay

    Keystone State

    Pennsylvania played many roles that could be considered keystones. To begin with, its vote for independence split between eight delegates. Because of this, the split played a vital role in deciding to move toward independence and cementing the union of the newly formed country.

    Throughout military operations, Pennsylvania provided forces to support the cause. In fact, Valley Forge tells the story of leadership and sacrifice of a young, developing army and citizenry.

    As we know, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed in Philadelphia during its tenure as the temporary capital. It was geographically centered among the 13 original colonies.

    Pennsylvania Flavor

    We can eat our way through history, too! To understand Pennsylvania’s flavor profile. We start in Lancaster County, which is the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. German and Swiss immigrants brought with them a wide range of hearty recipes that they incorporated into the fresh ingredients available in Pennsylvania countryside. From pork and sauerkraut, to pot pies and scrapple, these dishes filled the tables with the bounty of the land.

    Much of more of the sweeter side of Pennsylvania, Dutch flavor finds its way into restaurants than the savory flavored foods. For example, the whoopie pie, shoofly, and funnel cake are tourist and fair favorites found everywhere. Unfortunately, the home-cooked seasoning of chicken corn chowder or stuffed cabbage rolls are often not found in a restaurant.

    Cheesesteak

    For the best and original Philly Cheesesteak, there is only one place to go. Philadelphia, of course! Made with thinly sliced beef rib eye, sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms, melted cheese, on a long, crusty Italian roll. A hot dog vendor, Pat Olivieri, created the cheesesteak in the 1930s. One cab driver caught a whiff and soon after Olivieri opened a restaurant. It’s still there with competition across the street, a 24-hour a day rivalry for tourists and cheesesteak lovers to choose along with several others in the area.

    Sweets

    Head on over to Hershey to pick up all variety of chocolate and adventure. Don’t stop there! Pennsylvania’s sweet tooth has deep roots. From Twizzlers to Peeps, confectioners love Pennsylvania. Candy isn’t the only sweet treat on the menu, though. In 1904, the banana split was invented in Latrobe, PA.

    And more…

    If your preference is more on the salty side, Pennsylvania has that covered, too. They’ve mastered soft and hard pretzels. They also have a terrific competition between four regional potato chip brands.

    Full of regional festivals and local cuisine, Pennsylvania is also home to Kennett Square, otherwise known as the Mushroom Capital of the United States. Every year, in celebration, they shut down the town square for a mushroom festival. It’s no wonder Pennsylvanian mushrooms make it into dishes around the world, even into your very own house.

    HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY

    Join National Day Calendar as we celebrate National Pennsylvania Day by exploring the iconic, historic, and hidden treasures of this enchanting and complex state. Use #NationalPennsylvainaDay to share your experiences on social media.

    The real-life legend that is Daniel Boone began in Pennsylvania on the Boone homestead in what is now Birdsboro.  Today, the homestead is host to historical tours, demonstrations and activities providing a look into young Daniel Boone’s life. Born to Squire and Sarah (Morgan) Boone, he was the fourth son of six children in a Quaker family. It wasn’t until he around 12 years old that his father purchased his first rifle which he soon mastered. The family left Pennsylvania for North Carolina in 1749 where Daniel began his own hunting business.
    While many of us learned in school that Betsy Ross designed the first United States flag, there are no records confirming this. She was indeed a flag maker and roamed the same circles as George Washington. A resilient and resourceful woman, she survived three husbands, managed a business and household during an ever-changing time in history.
    The 15th President of United States, James Buchanan is the only president elected from Pennsylvania.  He is also the only president to remain unmarried for his entire life.

    The only president elected from Pennsylvania, James Buchanan’s tenure as president left the nation in turmoil and on the cusp of war.
    Born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Mariah Mendenhall delivered 980 babies in Northern Indiana and never lost a mother in her care.  She nursed the people in her communities for more than 40 years.  Mendenhall lived a long 98 years and was an asset to those she provided care to.
    Most known for her known for her novels Little Women and Little Men, the prolific author penned over 30 novels. Louisa May Alcott advocated for women’s sufferage and wrote to the very end of her life.
    [object HTMLBodyElement] Credited with 69 patents, Edward Acheson developed synthetic abrasives, perfected methods for making graphite and producing artificial diamonds. Many of his companies continue today.
    Born Elizabeth Cochran in Cochran Mills, Bly made a name for herself when she went undercover as a mental patient on Blackwell’s Island as an investigative journalist for the New York World. The exposè led to real change in the New York City mental health system.

    The World also sent Bly on a Jules Verne style journey around the world, inspired by the author’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days.
    Journalist, composer and prolific playwright, Maxwell Anderson was born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania and educated in North Dakota and California. Credited with commercial success both on stage and screen, the playwright earned a Pulitzer Prize for Both Your Houses in 1933. The political drama set in Congress with a plot full of pork and deals finds a stage still today. Anderson’s talents as a composer led him to collaborate with Kurt Weill, resulting in the popular standard “September Song” recorded by Frank Sinatra.
    Samuel Barber gained musical recognition for his compositions during the 20th century. His distinctive, modern style earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and an international following.
    The one-time president of Ford Motor Company, Lee Iacocca famously went on to successfully rescue Chrysler Corporation from bankruptcy.
    A professional golfer, Palmer is widely regarded as one of the game’s great athletes and the man who made golf marketable. Palmer won over 90 tournaments over five decades, including four Masters and two British Cups
    One of the 20th century’s most beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John Updike wrote about the human condition in a broad range of formats. He published more than 20 novels, including the Rabbit series, Witches of Eastwick, numerous short stories, poems and essays. He was a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, book critic and art critic.
    Also known as Mr. October for his postseason clutch hitting, Reggie Jackson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He spent the bulk of his career with the Oakland Athletics with three World Series wins and taking home MVP honors in 1973.

    Then in 1977, after Jackson had signed with the Yankees, he added another series win and MVP honor to his name. Jackson and the Yankees earned another World Series Championship a year later.

    During his career, he hit 563 home runs and 2584 hits with a batting average of .262.
    [object HTMLBodyElement]

    NORTH WEST

    Presque Isle State Park“With 11 miles of beaches and some of the world’s greatest sunsets — it is definitely worth mentioning as a highlight of our great state.” ~ Born and raised in Erie, Constance H. shares insight into the hidden treasure that is Presque Isle State Park.

    EAST

    Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle – Doylestown
    The Dream Garden – Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Magic Gardens – Philadelphia
    Cave of Kelpius – Philadelphia
    American Treasure Tour – Oaks
    Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square
    Columcille Megalith Park – Bangor

    CENTRAL

    Leap the Dips – Altoona
    Oldest operating rollercoaster
    Horseshoe Curve – Blair County
    National Watch & Clock Museum – Columbia
    Railroaders Memorial Museum – Altoona
    DelGrosso’s Amusement and Water Park – Tipton

    WEST

    Living Dead Museum & Gift Shop – Evans City
    Big Mac Museum – North Huntingdon

     

  • NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY | Second Friday in July

    NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY | Second Friday in July
    National French Fry Day | Second Friday in July

    NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY | Second Friday in July

    On the second Friday in July, we recognizes an American favorite known as the French fry on National French Fry Day.

    #NationalFrenchFryDay

    French fries, also known as chips, fries, finger chips, or French-fried potatoes, are batons of deep-fried potatoes. No matter what we call them, they’re common fixtures at fast-food restaurants and are loved by all ages!

    What are the best dipping sauces for French fries? Dipping sauces are a condiment choice based on personal preference. Though most people eat their fries with ketchup, some people like to step outside the tomato and choose something different. You can try anything you like, but we recommend:

    • Ranch dressing
    • Vinegar
    • Mayonnaise
    • Honey mustard
    • Cheese

    Beyond the condiments, chefs and home cooks sprinkle seasonings to add flavor and spice to their fries. Whether you add a little garlic and onion powder or spice it up Cajun style, a potato crisped just right will satisfy a combination of tastes. You can top them with chili or nacho cheese and jalapeños, too. Depending on the type of fries, we might top them with even more ingredients and call them all sorts of things.

    Delicious Alternatives

    French fries are not only for potatoes. In fact, there are healthier alternatives that make a delicious alternative to traditional French fries.

    • Sweet potatoes
    • Jicama Fries
    • Parsnips sliver fries
    • Baked carrot fries
    • Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus fries

    A Mission To Petition 

    In 2022, Checkers and Rally’s fast food restaurants went on a mission to petition National Day Calendar to change the date of National French Fry Day. Their goal was to change the July 13 date to the second Friday in July. Under advisement of Cal our Calendar Mascot, National Day Calendar changed the date. National French Fry Day would be celebrated each year on a Friday!

    efforts.

    HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY

    • Bake your fries instead of frying.
    • Make homemade fries.
    • Create a new dish using French fries.
    • Try some Checkers and Rally fries.
    • Create a seasoning to top your fries.
    • Order French fries with your dinner when you are at a restaurant. 
    • Tag and post on social media using #NationalFrenchFryDay.

    NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY HISTORY

    We were unable to find the creator or origin of National French Fry Day, but we found some great history regarding French Fries.  For instance, the expression “French Fried Potatoes” first occurs in print in English in the 1856 work Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren. 

    It is believed by some that the term “French” was introduced to the potatoes when the American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I and consequently tasted Belgian fries. Since French was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time, it is possible the American soldiers began calling the fried potatoes “French” fries.

  • NATIONAL DELAWARE DAY – July 13

    NATIONAL DELAWARE DAY | July 13

    National Delaware Day on July 13, recognizes the First State to declare independence from the British. Rich in history, Delaware’s lands once belonged to New York and later Pennsylvania. But the independent spirit of this beautiful coastal countryside is more than just legendary.

    #NationalDelawareDay

    The Delaware River and Bay derived their names from the 12th Baron del la Warr, Thomas West, a governor of Virginia. The name later carried over to the land as well.

    During the Second Continental Congress, Delaware’s delegates created a bit of suspense for the history books! Read more under Caesar Rodney and George Read.

    Delaware became official in 1776 when the 13 colonies declared their independence from the British government and Delaware adopted its first territorial state constitution.

    First State

    Delaware is proud of its First State status. With that comes many other firsts.  Delaware boasts the earliest Swedish settlers in 1638 who built the Old Swedes Church which still stands. Now known as the Holy Trinity Church, it is one of the oldest churches in America. Swedish settlers built the first log cabins on American soil, too.

    The Stars and Stripes flew for the first time during the Revolutionary War during the only battle to take place on Delaware soil.

    Shipbuilding became big business first in Delaware in 1840. The first iron shipbuilding yard in the United States was founded in Delaware by Samuel Harlan of Betts, Pussey, and Harlan – machinery makers.

    From ships to rails, Job H. Jackson and Jacob F. Sharp founded the Jackson and Sharp Company of Wilmington in 1863. By 1871 they built the first narrow-gauge railcar in the United States.

    The coastal state also lays claim to the first bathing beauty contest in 1880. To attract business to a summer festival, the competition was held at Rehoboth Beach. Thomas Edison was one of the judges.

    Known as the Chemical State, Delaware is a hub for manufacturing and munitions. In 1939, the world’s first nylon manufacturing plant opened in Seaford under the name of Dupont.

    Delaware Flavor

    From land to sea, Delaware satisfies the appetite all season long. Once known as the best producer of peaches until a blight wiped out the orchards in the late 1800s, the state is making a comeback, and the peach blossom is their state flower.

    Summer boardwalks and beaches fill with the salty sweetness of taffy and crab cakes made from the regions’ blue crab.

    The world’s largest maker of scrapple, RAPA Scrapple Company, calls Bridgeville, Delaware home. Also the home of the World Champion Pumpkin Chunkin competition in the heartland of the state, an autumn drive will fill your basket with fresh produce, poultry and the season’s best baked and canned goods the farmers’ markets can produce.

    HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DELAWARE DAY

    Explore the history and people of this beautiful state and use #NationalDelwareDay to share on social media.

    In 2017, National Day Calendar began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods, and the people who make up the state. There’s so much more to explore!

    Representing Delaware at the Continental Congress, Caesar Rodney (October 7, 1728 – June 26, 1784) was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence and began serving Delaware at a young age. Orphaned at the age of 17, Rodney, began his career in the role of clerk of court. He later rose to President of Delaware and served the state until his death in 1784. Absent during the vote for independence from England due to illness, Rodney’s vote was necessary to break a tie. His fellow Delaware delegate cast the only vote against independence, and all 13 colonies had to be in unanimous agreement before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    A counterpoint to Caesar Rodney, educated George Read (September 18, 1733 – September 21, 1798) was born and raised in Maryland and later practiced law in Delaware. The attorney supported the colonies and their right to peaceful protest but did not support independence from the crown. He was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to originally vote against.

    A sensation during his lifetime, Robert Montgomery Bird (February 5, 1806 – January 23, 1854) made a name for America’s first star of the stage and penned the first novel about a serial killer – before the word was coined – Nick of the Woods. His play, The Gladiator, was performed over a thousand times during his lifetime.

    Considered to have been the youngest correspondent of the Civil War, George Alfred Townsend (January 30, 1841 – April 15, 1914) wrote under the pen name Gath. While writing for papers in New York, Washington, Pensylvania, and Chicago he came into contact with many notable figures including Mark Twain and George McClellan and covered the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

    Widely credited as the inventor of the rescue technique for choking, the Heimlich Maneuver, Dr. Henry Heimlich (February 3, 1920 – December 17, 2016) was born in Wilmington. Educated at Cornell University, Heimlich was a thoracic surgeon and received a patent for a cardiac device called a flutter valve in 1969.

    Born in Wilmington, Daniel Nathans (October 30, 1928 – November 16, 1999) grew up in an affectionate family of nine children. As the youngest, he benefited greatly from the experience of his siblings and pursued an advanced education like they did. His interest in medicine propelled him into the area of genetics. He earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1978 for the discovery of restriction enzymes along with Werner Arber and Hamilton Smith.

    Arriving in Delaware after the French Revolution, chemist E.I. Dupont (1771- 1834) opened a gunpowder mill on the banks of the Brandywine River. The War of 1812 shot his business into the stratosphere when the U.S. government placed orders, securing the company’s presence in Delaware.

    Today, Dupont is the second largest chemical company in the world, giving Delaware the nickname The Chemical State.

    Best known for her role as Barbara Jean Cooper on the sitcom One Day at a Time, Valerie Bertinelli (April 23, 1960 – ) was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1960. Once married to rocker Eddie Van Halen, Bertinelli later landed sitcom celebrity in the show Hot in Cleveland.

    Hailing from Wilmington, Elisabeth Shue (October 6, 1963) got her start in commercials. Her big break came when she landed a role alongside The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio in 1984. The Harvard graduate has continued her career throughout the years both on screen and stage.