Did you know that September 9th is Wonderful Weirdos Day? This holiday was born in Austin, Texas, where “Keep Austin Weird” was elected as official town slogan by the Austin Independent Business Alliance in 2000. Similar campaigns exist in Portland, Oregon, and even Louisville, Kentucky. Weirdos exist everywhere, and it’s about time we had a holiday to celebrate them all.
Being a “weirdo” isn’t a negative thing: it’s a word for people who want to reclaim and be empowered by their quirks. Celebrating weirdos is all about celebrating what makes each person unique… especially those whose light shines a little brighter and a little odder than the people around them. This Wonderful Weirdos day, tap into the oddness all around you.
To celebrate, why don’t you…
Go Somewhere Weird
Branch out from the tourist track and find something you never knew was in your city! If you’re in Los Angeles, skip the the Walk of Fame and head to the Time Travel Mart in Echo Park, a “convenience store for time travelers,” whether you find it in your past or future. If you’re anywhere near East Lansing, Michigan, stop by the Moist Towelette Museum — and if you have any doubts about how odd that one is, check out their 90s-era website. There’s always a new way to appreciate your own hometown or make a road trip a little stranger. Don’t know where to start? Atlas Obscura is an awesome resource for finding whatever’s weirdest near you.
Or you can…
Do Something Weird
It’s a big, crazy world out there, and there are some unusual hobbies being enjoyed. Try out something new — you might just like it. Head to the How Weird Festival in San Francisco, where street art meets self-expression in one big counterculture party. Or try to keep up with the Running of the Santas, a national event that takes place in major cities from Philadelphia to New Orleans. In it, thousands of people dress like St. Nick and take on a bar tour that raises money for local charities. If you’re not into drinking or street parties, there’s always the world of weird competitions: from extreme ironing to competitive pun battles, there’s something bizarrely specific out there for everybody.
If you get bored with that, why don’t you…
Make Something Weird
Whether you’re inspired by a giant killer bee statue in Texas or a handmade house of insanity in Alaska, the world is full of beautiful, if off-beat, self-expression. You can also explore surreal and truly oddball art on AllPosters! Reach for the strange by creating art based on a quirky character, a surreal dream, or just your own inner imagination. Glue shells to cotton to create a bust, draw a detailed portrait of your elbow, perform a dance about your goldfish. When you’re celebrating weirdness, nothing is out of bounds. Don’t worry about the way your artwork turns out, either — if it’s truly bad, it can wind up in another center for the unusual — the Museum of Bad Art in Boston.
And if you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to try to…
Eat Something Weird
Not every city has a Michelin-star restaurant, but a whole lot of hometowns have unique dining experiences. For Wonderful Weirdos day, enjoy a meal that has you leaving feeling like you truly experienced something outlandish. That might mean a fine dining experience where you eat in the dark, a restaurant where a different grandma takes over the kitchen every night, or a meal eaten while dangling in the sky.
You don’t have to spent a ton of cash to enjoy some grandma-style weirdness, though. Pick up a fruit you’ve never tried. Watch some strange food being made (and eaten!) on YouTube. Or try something so oldschool as to be unheard of today, like a savory Jell-O salad. These freaky suspended “salads” were all the rage in the Depression era, and can still (unfortunately) be found on some in-laws’ Thanksgiving tables. Get ahead of Aunt Mildred this year by saying “No thanks, Auntie M, I made my own.”
We’ve rounded up our favorite unusual art pieces that celebrate the eccentric. Embrace your inner weirdo by picking up a print that will remind you to stay true to your inner strange. Whether you need a reminder of your own weird self or want to encourage your kid, any wall will be improved by something a little strange.