We’re all familiar with federal holidays in the U.S. Many establishments across the country decorate their bar or restaurant, hire a DJ, a game host, or other entertainment, and count on the holiday itself to bring in the extra business. Since certain holiday celebrations are known to center around a heavy consumption of alcohol, many bars end up being packed with celebrating patrons year after year. (For ideas to celebrate standard federal holidays, check out our blog post “Cashing in on 3-day Weekends”.)
But while federal holiday celebrations are commonplace, non-federal holidays are rarely celebrated. Consider hosting a non-federal holiday celebration (or two) next year to enhance your customers’ experience. It’s a great way to bring in more business, and for all you know, it could turn into a big annual money-maker!
Food and drink specials would be just the beginning. Why not hire a DJ or game host to create a night of music and activities to fit the occasion? If you have an outdoor space (and weather permits), bring in some live music.
Some non-federal holidays (such as Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Oktoberfest) go on for days or even weeks. This gives bar owners ample room to plan for numerous days of celebration. It’s also an opportunity to get very creative with food, drinks, and activities to liven them up. When you think about it – all holiday traditions got their start sometime in the distant past. The goal here is to create a few of your own that your bar can become known for over time and make you the envy of your competition.
Here’s a list of some well-known (and one not-so-well-known) non-federal holidays. Click the links for each holiday to check out our blog post where we elaborate with more ideas. Choose one, make it your own, and enjoy the increase in fun and in profits!
National Hat Day - January 15 - This one's pretty obvious, so no need for its own blog post. Just ask everyone to wear a hat and give away prizes for the best, the funniest, the oldest...you get the picture! A great song to announce "This Hour's Prize Goes To..."? You Can Leave Your Hat On (Joe Cocker or Tom Jones).
Chinese New Year - 15 days long beginning with the new moon, which falls sometime between January 21 and February 20 each year
Groundhog Day - every February 2
Anti-Valentine’s Day - every February 14
Mardi Gras - about 2 weeks long leading up to Fat Tuesday, which is always the day before Ash Wednesday
Oktoberfest (August 2, 2022)
Singles Day – (October 18, 2022)
Other non-federal holidays you’re surely familiar with that could serve as a great excuse to celebrate include
- April Fool’s Day – April 1st
- Cinco de Mayo – May 5th
- Mother’s Day – the second Sunday of May
- Father’s Day – the third Sunday of June
- Halloween – October 31st
Did you know that something is officially celebrated every single day of the year? For a list of official daily holidays check out Checkiday.
National Jelly Bean Day - April 22
And for even more inspiration: check out On This Day In History.