Boulder’s most famous April Fools’ Day prank
April Fools’ Day, also known as All Fools’ Day, is celebrated annually on the first day of April. Its origins are unclear, but some historians believe it began in ancient Rome with the festival of Hilaria, a day of practical jokes and revelry.
In the Middle Ages, the celebration of the New Year was moved from April 1st to January 1st. Some people continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st, and those who did were often mocked and tricked by those who followed the new calendar. This is believed to be the origin of the modern April Fools’ Day.
One of the earliest recorded pranks occurred in 1698 when Londoners were tricked into going to the Tower of London to see the “washing of the lions.” Of course, there was no such event, and the pranksters laughed as people crowded the streets, looking for the nonexistent spectacle.
In the United States, April Fools’ Day gained popularity during the 19th century, with newspapers printing fake stories and hoaxes. One famous example is the “spaghetti tree” hoax, where the BBC aired a segment in 1957 claiming that Swiss farmers were harvesting spaghetti from trees.
Boulder, Colorado, has a reputation for being a quirky, fun-loving town, so it’s no surprise that the city has had some epic April Fools’ Day pranks over the years. One of the most famous was in 2001 when the city’s public library announced that it was instituting a “living library” program. The idea was that patrons could check out real, live people to talk to instead of books. The prank received widespread attention and was even covered by national news outlets.
Another memorable prank in Boulder was in 2015 when a group of students at the University of Colorado created a fake advertisement for a marijuana-infused beer called “Boulder Gold.” The ad was so convincing that it fooled many people, including local news outlets.
While there have been many memorable April Fools’ Day pranks over the years, the best one is subjective and depends on personal preference. However, one thing is for sure: April Fools’ Day will continue to be a day of fun and practical jokes for years to come.