May 27, 2018
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Wicked daring tattoos and the monosyllabic: 6 suggestions for celebrating Maine Day

Carter F. McCall | BDN
Carter F. McCall | BDN
A University of Maine student celebrates after scoring during a game of oozeball during the Maine Day celebrations on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Although competition is encouraged, oozeball has no scoring, no formal rules and no winner.

Move over, “Maine Day,” the day devoted to spring clean-up at the University of Maine. And move over, that other “Maine Day” when Maine is celebrated at Fenway Park. There’s a new Maine Day upon us.

Gov. Paul LePage has proclaimed the third Saturday of each August “Maine Day,” a day when people in Maine and Maine lovers everywhere are encouraged to eat Maine food and beverages and buy Maine-made products.

There’s no prescribed way to celebrate Maine Day, but the holiday’s champions argue there’s an economic case to be made for “Maine Day.” With pride and economics in mind, here are our suggestions:

Street sign extension: Soon after LePage took office, he celebrated the addition of an “Open for Business” sign to the Maine Turnpike, so the state’s new economic attitude would be known to all. Maine Day is everybody else’s turn to add a road sign that really says something about Maine. Our suggestion? (Joking, of course.) Add “the” in front of every street sign you can find (the Hogan Road, for example) so the street signs reflect what you would actually hear if a local gave you directions. The economic case? You’ll make a local road sign manufacturer’s day with all those definite articles.

Directional confusion: Give directions in that distinctive Maine way to all who ask you how to get from Point A to Point B. Describe landmarks by what used to occupy the spot (you know that intersection where the house burned down?). Or, be honest: You can’t get there from here!

Wicked passionate advocacy: Celebrate Maine Day with an advocacy campaign. Stick up for that quirk of the Maine dialect, that adverb that adds just the right amount of emphasis: wicked. We in Maine already use “wicked,” well, wicked often to drive wicked important points home. What better way is there to celebrate Maine Day, then, than to use “wicked” as often as possible? Wicked appropriate, in our wicked humble opinion.

Pride in separation: In about five-and-a-half years, Maine will surely be celebrating the bicentennial of its formal separation from Massachusetts (March 15, 2020). But there’s no danger in getting a head start on the separation celebration. Maine Day is the perfect day for that premature revelry.

I dare you to dirigo: Do you really want to show your Maine pride? Declare “dirigo,” take the lead and dare your friends to follow suit. Visit your local tattoo artist, and order up a body etching so you can wear your Maine pride on your skin. Our suggestions? Perhaps Maine’s area code, “207.” At least it will be good until we need so many phone numbers we’ll have to expand beyond our single three-digit identity. Or get an everlasting etching that shows your Maine pride and your pride in initiative all in one: Dirigo. The economic case? You’ll make a local tattoo artist’s day.

The syllable that sets us apart: Acknowledge what really makes Maine stand out from the other states and embrace Maine’s one-syllable status. We’re the only state in the union that requires only one syllable of your time to articulate. We can use that to our advantage on Maine Day by squeezing in the pronunciation of our state’s name more times than any other state celebrating its pride on a single day would be able to do. Just don’t get any funny idears and add any extra syllables or letters as Mainers are wont to do.

Have fun with Maine Day, and don’t be afraid to poke some fun at Maine while we’re celebrating everything great about our state — which used to be part of Massachusetts.


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