Warning: You’re going to read this and end up with a song stuck in your head. Guaranteed.
Most likely it’ll be Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” but it could be “Don’t Worry Be Happy” or even the Turtles’ 1967 “Happy Together” — all depends on your generation.
But, hey, the earworm’s for a good cause.
Friday, in case you haven’t heard, is International Day of Happiness. This is the first year the fledgling holiday is being celebrated in Tucson, but it debuted two years ago after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming March 20 the happy holiday.
The goal is pretty straight forward: “We want people to have fun,” says organizer Anita Fonte, who began spearheading efforts for the event over the summer.
She said last year, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index — which measures and analyzes well-being around the world — ranked Arizona 20 out of the 50 states. Not exactly smile inducing.
“I hope people will get a better sense of our assets, see the glass as half full not empty from a community perspective,” said Fontes, who’s lived in Tucson since 1971 and helped create Do Happy Today, a volunteer group dedicated to promoting activities, events and resources that increase personal and community happiness. The group aims to bump up that lowly No. 20 rank into the top 10 within three years.
International Day of Happiness activities are free and centered downtown with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild scheduled to begin festivities by reading a proclamation.
Entertainment and workshops are scheduled throughout the day.
Though the actual holiday is Friday, Fonte said the weekend is full of things designed to spark smiles, like movie screenings at the downtown library, sing-alongs on the streetcar and “happiness sprinklings” — think flash mobs holding signs reading positive messages like “You rock!” and “Share Your Happy!” Volunteers will carry 22 signs at spots around town, Fonte said.
Artist and mom Julie Rustad will perform with her family’s band The Nap Skippers, which includes her 4-year-old son, and lead craft workshops Friday.
“This event is something the whole family can enjoy,” she said.