Let the foolin’ begin on Saturday, April 5

Published 10:15 pm Monday, March 17, 2014

April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, the Tryon April Fool’s Festival will celebrate its ninth year of foolish fun in downtown Tryon with a day of music, food, fun, games and general folderol.

Around noon, the Fool’s Parade will begin at the corner of Trade and Oak streets, the site of “Morris” the horse, Tryon’s not-to-be-missed giant hobbyhorse mascot. Morris was the 1928 creation of the Tryon Toymakers, the most recent version of which was completed in 2012. The parade will proceed along Trade Street. Parade participants will include local and regional groups, organizations and other foolish folks in colorful attire just out to have a good time.  For more information contact Edith Bond at 828-289-4958.

Following the parade, will be the eagerly-anticipated Outhouse Races, the cornerstone of the April Fool’s Festival. Since its inception in 2006, the races have featured hand-built, people-powered outhouses, which are pushed or pulled along the race route on Trade Street.  Award categories include grown-ups and kids 16-and-under. The races will begin at the corner of Trade and Palmer and run up Trade Street to the finish line in front of the clock tower. For more information, contact George Alley at 828-817-5577.

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After the outhouse races, sit back and enjoy the Mad Hatter’s Up-cycle Hat Contest, a runway fashion show of creative hats made exclusively of recycled materials. Entrants will be competing in categories such as kids-12-and-under, adults and pets. For more information, contact Christine Mariotti, at cmariotti@windstream.net.

Throughout the day, there will be other family activities. Some of the local merchants will be participating in the event’s first Scavenger Hunt. Completed scavenger hunt cards will be entered in a drawing to receive prizes from participating store owners to help promote this new event.

Throughout the day, Tryon restaurants & Jose’s Wood-Fired Pizza will provide food for purchase from street-side locations. Farmer’s Market booths and regional beers and wines will also available for purchase at The Depot parking lot. Scheduled festivities wrap up at 3 p.m., but participants are encouraged to stay.

In addition to supporting various non-profits in the community, the 2014 Tryon April Fool’s Festival will provide funds for new downtown enhancement projects in support of downtown businesses. The Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Checks should be written to TDDA and designated for the April Fool’s Festival.

Check out the event’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TryonFoolsFest.

Origins of April Fools’ Day

The origins of April Fools’ Day are uncertain. Some claim it is a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new Gregorian Calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan. 1.

That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year’s Day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1.

Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

– article submitted 

by Robin Edgar