Every fourth month of the year, April Fools’ Day likely has passed before many of our much-appreciated readers have picked up our monthly publication. It’s no joke that April Fools’ Day dates back nearly five centuries, and during that time its foolishness has been recognized by different cultures around the world. Go figure. And to our knowledge, there are no plans to stop the day that embraces good-natured silliness, spoofs and satire.
It’s a wonder, however, how that humor blossomed in springtime in so many locations hundreds of years ago, way before the information highway of the last generation had spread all over the world. Now in an instant, it’s easy to connect hoaxes, fish stories and tall such as they happen.
Yet, year after year, April Fools’ Day traditions continue to attract attention while folks play practical jokes, hoping someone will bite so the prankster can yell, “April Fools!” The mystery and creativity in the spirit of “gotcha” embraced by today’s media and major brands has ensured the unofficial holiday’s endurance, dating back to 1564 in France after the adoption of the reformed calendar by Charles IX.
Early in PN’s history, one of our April Fools’ jokes included breaking news that Taco Bell had given a multi-million dollar donation to help fund the 72-bell carillon instrument inside Moser Tower. Some people at the butt of the joke didn’t think it was so funny.
Joke’s on PN
As a hyperlocal community newspaper focused on the can-do spirit of the city, it’s no secret that the past two years of lockdowns cramped our style. Events were planned, submitted and canceled again and again. To keep up with what seemed like a gargantuan amount of requests, we created a policy to avoid promoting virtual events. And as faithful as we like to think we are in this even more faithful community of religious affiliations, we’ve chosen not to promote on our printed pages the multitude of religious promotions sent our way due to lack of time and print space as well as the fact our online “Events” calendar welcomes those posts.
That said, our online events calendar welcomes all event planners to submit all types of activities. Simply visit the “Events” category on PN’s navigation bar toand follow the prompts. Allow time to go through our editing process that helps prevent shenanigans.
Still, we aim to exist as a small, independent family businesses that aim to make a difference. In our case, for 20 years and eight months, we’ve continually reminded readers that shopping, dining, banking, and entertaining locally whenever possible are ways we all can help our community thrive.
We appreciate all our advertising supporters, contributing columnists and photographers who help us preview (rather than review) worthy causes and upcoming events. And nearly every morning we wonder how overnight thousands of news releases somehow find their way to our in-box and spam folder.
Certainly, it’s no joke that we’ve made mistakes here and there. We’ve missed a last name or two. We misidentified a flutist in a photo. We’ve been called out more than a few times.
We’ll always remember the time we were promoting the 2002 Jaycees Last Fling via a photo we shot of their selling grilled bratwursts at Naper Settlement during a summer Naperville Municipal Band Concert. Two youngsters were in the photo. Our caption read something like “Naperville Jaycees sold brats, practicing for Last Fling.” More than a few readers chided that we’d never win a Pulitzer Prize!
Here we are, anticipating the flowers and leaf buds of springtime. Depending on weather, bluebells will blanket Knoch Knolls in late April or early May. Already the floor of Sindt Woods near the Riverwalk is covered with tiny blossoms of white, yellow and blue. Indoor and outdoor events that have been on hiatus for two years are returning. We aim to keep up right here in Naperville.
And that reminds of another silly story. We received a call from a woman staying at the Marriott. As I recall, she had picked up a copy of PN at Catch 35. She said she really enjoyed the publication, and suggested one thing was missing: The train schedule into Chicago. I remember blushing as I answered, “And that’s the point. Enjoy your stay in Naperville!”
Meanwhile, we’re mindful how audio books, talking podcasts and social media impact our ever-changing world. All the e-tech makes us wonder who still reads stories in print and on websites. Fortunately, you do!
And we thank you very much!
—Positively Naperville Publisher and Digital Editor