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Holiday firsts: Red Nose, Fruit and Veggie Day

And you thought it was just Thursday.

rednosedayMay 21, it seems, has gone national, in a couple of not-so-obviously-New Orleans ways. First up: If you see people wearing funny red noses today, blame the first-ever Red Nose Day. It's a campaign to raise money for young people living in poverty. There's a three-hour TV special tonight filled with famous comedians on NBC. Not that poverty is anything to laugh about, but, well ...

Next up: It is also the inaugural National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day, dedicated to the premise that Americans could use a few more healthy options on their plates.

So how will these landmark days be celebrated locally? Well, one good place to look for red noses (besides your corner bar) is the Royal Sonesta, where staffers will be donning red noses and where red noses will be available at the front desk for guests. Any monies collected will go to RedNoseDay.org.

Meanwhile, look up. The New Orleans-based MySelfie Live (MSL) is using the power of its software platform and social media to create awareness of the initiative with a billboard campaign in the New Orleans Central Business District. Red-nose selfies will be posted on an OutFront digital board in one of New Orleans' most high-traffic areas at I-10 and the Superdome, reading to westbound traffic.

fruitdayAnd that fruit and veggie thing? New Orleans College Prep, Liberty's Kitchen and Dole Food Company are teaming pup to promote the holiday, which will be held annually on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the start of the summer produce season. An Eat More Fruit & Vegetables Student Nutritional Rally at New Orleans College Prep is scheduled today, with students participating in games, contests and hands-on activities to learn the benefits of produce and a healthy lifestyle.

Hmm. Come to think of it, red noses and good food are both quintessentially New Orleans. So perhaps these national holidays will gain traction here.

There doesn't seem to be much competition. An Internet search turned up only two other national May 21 holidays. Today, it seems, also is National Memo Day (do people still do that in the email era?) and National Waiters and Waitresses Day. And though the New Orleans group Fix My Street named today National Pot Hole Day, it seems that, nationally, Pot Hole Day was Jan. 15.

But then, every day is Pot Hole Day in New Orleans.