DAYS: You know those ‘awareness day’ calendars that seem to have a day set aside for everything? We were surprised when we looked at what today is.

For starters, in Alaska, it’s Alascattalo Day. Never heard of it? Neither had we. It seems those folks in Alaska have a sense of humor, as the alascattalo is a fictitious animal that is a cross between a moose and a walrus — try picturing that.

The fictional creature was said to have been bred by minors during the Alaskan gold rush around the turn of the 20th century. It’s thought to have come about as a response to stupid questions asked by visitors.

Created by Steven C. Levi, a commercial writer who works in Anchorage, Alaska, the Alascattalo Day Parade is the “longest running shortest parade in American history.” The parade runs one block in an alley, and has been held every year for at least 25 years. Awards have been given for the smallest and ugliest float — it needs to be both to win.

The day honors Alaskan humor, says Levi in a story printed in the Anchorage Press in 2017.

“When it comes to tall tales, Alaskans are king.

“And Alaskans have such easy marks! For the most part, Outsiders, I.E., people from the Lower 48, are amazingly ignorant when it comes to Alaska. Though Alaska is a state of the United States, many Americans continue to believe that it is a different country, uses another form of currency and requires a visa for travel. These same people, many of them with college educations, also fervently believe that Alaska is a land of ice and snow where the residents live in igloos and ranch penguins. In fact, in downtown Anchorage it is not uncommon to hear tourists actually asking which restaurants serve blubber stew, the location of the nearest igloo, or where the Northern Lights go when the sun is up for twenty-hours a day.”

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