Happy Independence Day and other US things …

Turns out that July 4 – best known as the US Independence Day – also has a couple of other (less well known outside of the US) holidays associated with it:

National Country Music Day

Yep, y’all, today is also National Country Music Day in the US.  While it doesn’t seem to be an official national day as such (there don’t seem to be any country music associations sponsoring the day or any official documentation on file proclaiming July 4 as National Country Music Day), it still seems to have entered the popular mindset as the official day to celebrate country music.  So grab your guitar and start singing about how your missus left you and the dog died, or just sit out on the porch listening to your favourite country artist on the CD player and crank it up in celebration.

Tom Sawyer Fence Painting Day

Each year, on the weekend on or around July 4th, the US celebrates one of the National Tom Sawyer Days in honor of Mark Twain (the author of “Tom Sawyer”) – The National Fence Painting Contest.  And this one, interestingly, IS an officially recognised national holiday, now sanctioned by the US Congress.

So what does it involve?  Well, according to 2Camels.com:

“Many states around the nation hold local fence painting competitions throughout the year and send their winners to Hannibal for the “World Series of Whitewashing.” Since 1964, the travel tab for the winning contestants from 10 neighboring states has been picked up by the Jaycees; other state’s entries have to pay their own way. 10 to 13-year old Tom Sawyers are judged on costume, their painting speed and their painting accuracy. A $500 savings bond, prizes donated by local merchants and a trophy, which the winner must present to the governor of his home state, are awarded every year.

For all you over-the-hill Tom Sawyers, there’s an adult fence painting contest as well.”

Only in America …

So, however you celebrate it, Happy 4th of July!

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