Friday, April 20, 2012

St. Peaches Day Around the Country

     We have, on numerous occasions in this space, talked to you about the glorious holiday known as St. Peaches Day.  And so we will again.  I am not going to get into the history of the holiday and how it came to be, but what I would like to do today is take the opportunity to look at how the holiday is celebrated in select areas around the country.  And if it isn't celebrated in these cities in this manner, then it really should be.

New York City
Plum Beach, where fireworks are traditionall shot at people
in celebration of St. Peaches Day.
New York City is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the United States, sorry LA.  As such, it is a hotbed of St. Peaches Day celebrations.  New Yorkers from Staten Island to Brooklyn to the Bronx traditionally celebrate by parading across the Brooklyn Bridge in single file while wearing party hats.  After the parade, the celebrants go to Chinatown where they buy crates of illegal fireworks, which they shoot off towards one another at Plum Beach on Jamaica Bay.  Also, the traditional cake or blueberry pie that is served on this day is ofter replaced by cheesecake or Brooklyn-style pizza across the city.

Las Vegas

A fake plant of the type that is traditionally given on
St. Peaches Day in Las Vegas.
Traditionally, the residents of Las Vegas go to the casino to gamble on St Peaches Day, and many of the casinos offer specials and discounts for those who live in Clark County.  Las Vegasans or whatever they have called - due to their desert location - have created a unique local twist to the traditional method of celebrations.  While they still sprinkle confetti on their bushes, they traditionally purchase fake plants or flowers with which to celebrate.  Another trend that is growing in popularity is to actually give the fake plant as a St. Peaches Day gift in place of the traditional gift of Legos.

Twin Cities

Spoonbridge and Cherry.
In the Twin Cities, the curious local custom of spending St. Peaches Day listening to Tenacious D and drinking home-brewed beer while baking cookies has developed.  Locals often engage in this practice late into the night - almost until dawn - and then cap off the festivities by having early morning breakfast at Hell's Kitchen or any other sheik downtown Minneapolis restaurant.  Also, it is considered good form for everyone to put on tuxedos or evening gowns and party hats and get a group photo of family and friends taken in front of the Spoonbridge and Cherry in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


A low calorie - or diet - Wisconsin Candy Apple. 
 Strangely enough, locals in Wisconsin celebrate St. Peaches Day in a starkly different manner than their neighbors to the west.  In Wisconsin, St. Peaches Day is always celebrated by throwing confetti in the bushes in front of one's home or in one's yard.  They day is then spent alone drinking beer, eating the local deep-friend delecacy the Wisconsin Candy Apple and building Star Wars Legos.  After sundown, locals then hit the streets and bars which generally leads to higher than normal amounts of arrests for public drunkeness, lewd behavior, and drunk driving.  Oddly enough, however, local authorities generally suspend tickets and arrests for public urination on St Peaches Day in an effort to mark the occasion in their own special way.


It's St. Peaches Day in Columbia, South Carolina!
 In the Carolinas, the celebration of the holiday varies widely from region to region.  While areas along the ocean tend to celebrate by throwing confetti into the water and having picnics on the beach, in western North and South Carolina the holiday is generally celebrated by bluegrass music festivals and Hawaiian-style pig roasts.  In the piedmont of North Carolina the holiday is celebrated in the traditonal way with a little bit of a southern twist - confetti is thrown on bushes, party hats are worn, but they replace blueberry pie and ravioli with peach cobbler and fried chicken.  In central South Carolina, a highly specialized form of celebration has developed.  Bars and comedy clubs across the region host special shows in which special guests or even the public in some cases perform, with the show always ending with the people on stage throwing confetti on the crowd.  At these shows, the audiance drinks nothing but wine and eat taquitos.  Traditional dress for these celebrations include assless chaps, flip flops, sunglasses indoors, and large buttons with pictures of the characters from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force animated television show on them, with Master Shake being the most popular.  The wearing of a button with Karl on it is generally acknowleged to mean that the wearer is single and looking to hook up on this most festive of occasions.

So that is just a taste of how this wonderful holiday has evolved differently in different areas of the country, often heavily influenced by local customs and traditions.  All is well though, because the holiday is all about togetherness and celebration, no matter how it is done.  May you have a happy St. Peaches Day no matter where you are and how you celebrate.

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