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The best, weirdest national holidays to put on your calendar this summer

chocolate doughnut
chocolate doughnut Getty Images

There are enough wacky, trivial holidays and “national days” to fill up an entire calendar year. (Sorry we are that Talk Like Yoda Day we missed on May 21.)

And with the real holiday of Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of summer, we rounded up some of the best and weirdest celebrations from June to August along with our suggestions for observing them.

June 1: National Running Day

Grab your running shoes and get outside for a run today. Run solo or join up with several Columbia running groups. A group called 621 Ninjas meets at 5:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 621 Chatham St. If you can stand to get up even earlier, the Dam 5 am’ers meet at 5 a.m. Wednesdays at Lexington Middle School. Might as well call this National Get Up Early Day.

June 3: National Doughnut Day

Whoever said, “The more colorful the diet, the better,” was talking about sprinkles, right?

For delicious Double Trouble Donuts, head to Nest at 1450 Main St. or The Local Buzz at 141 Shandon St. You won’t get doughnut flavors like candied ginger and cookie butter anywhere else.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts usually offer free doughnuts in honor of the holiday.

June 4: National Trails Day

Sign up for the Sweat It Out 5K at Old Woodlands Park, or head to Harbison State Forest for a trail run/walk/bike.


A meat and three isn't complete until you add the sweet tea! #SCHospitalityDay

A photo posted by Lizard's Thicket (@lizardsthicket) on

June 10: National Iced Tea Day

This probably goes without saying, but we’re talking about sweet tea here. Locally, you can get some so-sweet-it’ll-give-you-a-cavity tea at Groucho’s Deli, Rush’s and Lizard’s Thicket.

If you’re willing to drive, the town of Summerville, aka the self-proclaimed birthplace of sweet tea, will once again celebrate National Tea Day by attempting to break a Guinness World Record with a single 2,400 gallon glass of sweet tea. Party to follow.

And for adults, there’s always the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island. Sweet tea vodka anyone?

June 18: National Go Fishing Day

This weekend, drop a line into the Saluda River, reel in a smallmouth bass in the Broad River, or head to Lake Monticello to catch some catfish. You’ll have to find your own secret spots, though.

June 26: National Take Your Dog to Work Day

It’d be great to have furry friends in the office every day, but if this is not an option where you work, you can still give Fido some extra love on this day by taking him to a local dog park.

Emily Douglas Dog Park in Shandon, the Barking Lot Dog Park at Saluda Shoals Park and the NoMa (North Main) Bark Park is in Earlewood Park are good options. Note that the NoMa requires a membership.

July 1: National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

Sweet Cream Co. on Main Street is always coming up with unique flavor combinations, like blueberry mojito, banana curry and Earl Grey.

Pelican’s Snoballs, while not exactly ice cream, also has a bevy of flavors to try, from cantaloupe to dill pickle.


New Chicken Spot $6.75 Say no more

A photo posted by Q (@mr_travelocity) on

July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

Go to Bernie’s at 1311 Bluff Road and order a three-piece special. Or head to Anthony’s Dairy Bar at 2200 Two Notch Road and order the fried wing basket lunch special. Your stomachs will thank you.

July 14: National Hot Dog Day

Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs at 825 Main St. exists for this day. There’s also the Haute Dog Lady food truck and Buddy’s Saucy Dogs in Lexington. If you really want to do it right, grab a dog at the Fireflies game at Spirit Communications Park tonight.

July 22: National Hammock Day

There are tons of hang spots along the Cayce Riverwalk where you can set up and watch the river flow by. Or head to the opposite side of the river to Granby Park.

There’s also a sweet spot at the top of the USC Horseshoe by that crooked tree, and if that’s taken, head to the fountain by the Thomas Cooper Library.

At Earlewood Park, you can pick a spot off the beaten path for your hammock in the shady woods. Just watch out for errant discs from the disc golf course.

July 30: National Dance Day

Sign up for a class at The Dance Floor at 717 Lady St., and shake what ya mama gave ya. Classes are for ages 18 and up, and range from cardio hip-hop to jazz. This is not a “tights and leotards” kind of place. And guys are welcome, too.

Aug. 9: National Book Lovers Day

Obviously, the library is the place to be today. There’s Reader’s Morning Out, a daytime book group for adults at 10 a.m. at the Richland Library Ballentine, and Book Banter, a discussion of recent bestsellers, at 7 p.m. at the St. Andrews Library.

Aug. 16: National Tell a Joke Day

Like puns, limericks or dad jokes? Today is YOUR day. Crack a joke to your co-workers, or if you’re feeling brave, head to Comedy Roulette at Art Bar in the Vista. Open mic standup comedy is every Tuesday starting at 9 p.m. Sign up to perform for five minutes.

Aug. 17: National Thrift Shop Day

Can we go thrift shopping? Buy, sell or trade at Sid & Nancy in Five Points, rummage through Consign It at 4600 Forest Drive, or channel your inner Macklemore at Palmetto Thrift Store at 4068 Fernandina Road. Donate, too!

Aug. 27: National Just Because Day

How about jumping on a trampoline, or running through a spray pool, just because? Hiwire Trampoline Park in Irmo has a late-night jump tonight from 8-11 with lasers and dubstep music. 15 and up only. $10. 1019 Broad Stone Road.

Or live it up and play in those jets of water that shoot up from the ground. For locations, visit columbiaparksandrecreationfoundation.org.

Erin Shaw, eshaw@thestate.com