Last month, this column covered great ideas on how to decorate a boat at a minimum cost by using the easiest to acquire materials - balloons, flags and streamers. This month, let’s turn our attention to an old friend for ideas. That friend just so happens to be something upon which we look almost every single day - our calendar.

Let’s utilize the calendar for more than just telling us what day of the week, month or year it is. Let’s use our good ol’ friend for ideas on decorating our boats for the annual July Fourth Boat Parade. Let’s use all 12 months of it. And since I’m working with limited space, we’ll cover the first six month today and the remaining months in a March column.

The old standbys are pretty much a given. In the first three months you have New Years, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Inauguration Day, Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, leap year day, March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, first day of spring, Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Holy or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, first day of Passover and Holy Saturday.

However, there are many more days of observance than what you may realize. For example, in addition to the standards in January we have the Epiphany for the Christians and Christmas Day for the Orthodox. There’s also Stephen Foster Memorial day, Orthodox New Year, Civil Rights Day and the Tu Bishvat/Tu B'Shevat Jewish holiday.

Included in February are National Freedom Day, Rosa Parks Day and National Wear Red Day. There’s also Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, Chinese New Year, both Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays and Shrove or Candlemas Tuesday.

We know March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Some great days of observance in this windy month when you may start out by flying kites, are Read Across America Day, Employee Appreciation Day and the start of daylight savings time. There’s also Evacuation Day, Holy Saturday and César Chávez Day.

Regular holidays and days of observance of which we’re familiar for the next three months include Easter Sunday, April Fool’s Day, Emancipation Day and tax day. There’s also Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Ascension Day, Armed Forces Day, National Maritime Day and Memorial Day. We end the first six months of the year with D-Day, Flag Day, Father’s Day, the last day of Passover, Juneteenth and the start of summer.

In April, we also have National Tartan Day, National Library Workers’ Day and Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. There’s also Patriot’s Day, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and Arbor Day.

Beside the normal holidays, the warm spring month of May gives us Law Day, Loyalty Day, Hawaiian Lei Day and the National Day of Prayer. There’s also National Nurses Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day, Pentecost Sunday, National Missing Children’s Day and Trinity Sunday.

In addition to the regular June holidays and days of observance noted above, as we approach the beginning of Summer let’s not forget about the Army’s Birthday, Bunker Hill Day, West Virginia Day and American Eagle Day.

This should give you a head start on others. There’s now plenty of time to select a theme, do research on it via the Internet, plan your boat decorations, gather your materials, assemble your costumes and last but not least register your boat to win some great cash prizes again in this year’s annual Portage Lakes July Fourth Boat Parade.

Finally, don’t miss next month’s column. It will include a special day of recognition and honor enacted by the Akron City Council, the first in the nation to do so in observance of this special cause.

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