June 17, 2021 – National Mascot Day | National Apple Strudel Day
This Chicken Drew A Crowd For Nearly 50 Years, Making It The Most Famous Team Mascot Of All Time!
Welcome to June 17th, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate the characters and the desserts that keep the good times on a roll.
In 1974, a guy was hired to dress in a chicken costume for an event at the city’s world-famous San Diego Zoo. Ted Giannoulas was a big fan of the Padres baseball team and worked out a deal to wear the costume during games. His intent was to be able to watch the Padres for free, but the mascot’s appearances at games soon made him into a sensation. Even when the team wasn’t playing well, people would show up to the stadium simply to see the San Diego Chicken’s antics. Dancing, chasing around players, joking with the umpires…he did it all. For nearly 50 years, the Chicken entertained audiences and became the most famous team mascot of all time. On National Mascot Day, we celebrate the folks who are willing to “take one for the team” to keep fans entertained even when their teams are stinking it up on the field.
The German word “strudel” literally means “swirl,” which makes sense if you think of its whirlpool shape. This flaky, fruit-filled pastry was created in 1696 and became very popular during the Habsburg Dynasty. Today apple strudel is still one of Austria’s most famous dishes, but you may not know that at one time it was also the official state pastry of Texas. That’s because German settlers brought strudel to America and won over this part of the country. While many flavors of strudel exist both savory and sweet, the apple kind has remained a favorite. This is probably because apples can be found during good times and bad, and on National Apple Strudel Day, you can count on this dessert to inspire celebration.
I’m Anna Devere and I’m Marlo Anderson. Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.