The Sideshow

‘Stay Away From Seattle Day’ marks Emerald City’s anti-love letter to the nation

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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The Space Needle in downtown Seattle is a tourist attraction. (Anthony Bolante/Reuters)

Pacific Northwest residents are well regarded as some of the friendliest folks in the nation. But that doesn't necessarily mean they want visiting guests to stay forever. To that end, some of the city's 3.4 million residents will be celebrating "Stay Away From Seattle Day" on Sept. 16.

The tongue-in-cheek holiday even has its own Hallmark page, in which the world's most famous greeting card maker describes the day as follows:

"Because frankly Seattle doesn't want you coming around, stinking up the joint. And last time you tracked mud all over the carpet and some of the special occasion dinnerware went missing. Seattle will let you know when it's ready to see you again. Until then, keep your distance. You think we're kidding but really this day was championed by Seattle residents tired of sharing their space with tourists."

Now, that may be a slightly misleading description of "Stay Away From Seattle Day's" true origins. As King5 News reports, the faux holiday was actually created by a comedian from Pennsylvania who has never even visited Seattle. And even he stopped promoting the holiday 15 years ago. But what does creator Tom Roy really want to do? Well, visit Seattle, naturally.

"Everybody talks about Paris," he told the station. "I want to go to San Francisco, I want to go to Seattle."

As King5 notes, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce does not endorse the holiday.

Seattle isn't the only Pacific Northwest destination to establish some boundaries with its visitors. Former Oregon Gov. Tom McCall famously had signs installed on his state's border with California that declared, "Welcome to Oregon, we hope you will enjoy your visit."

The message was widely interpreted as letting visitors from down south know that while they were welcome to stop by the Beaver State, they were expected to head back home after spending their tourist dollars.

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