I swear, I didn't know about this. Next week, Thursday, March 20th, would be Fred Rogers' 80th birthday. The standardbearers at Family Communications, Inc., Rogers' production company, are encouraging everyone to wear a sweater--I repeat, to wear a sweater--on the 20th to commemorate Rogers' legacy of good neighborliness.
The mass sweaterwearing will be the culmination of Won't You Be My Neighbor Days, a 5-day series of community- and family-oriented events across Pittsburgh and the greater Southwestern Pennsylvania area, which is part of the year-long Pittsburgh 250 celebration.
DT commenter and Pittsburgher Lisa C. tipped us off to the city's still-burning love for their hometown hero. And now, after watching David Newell lead a press junket trolley ride to promote the wear-in, I wonder if Pittsburgh isn't hoping Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will be to that city what the Sound of Music is to Salzburg: a cheesy, nostalgia-soaked, sing-along tourism magnet.
And the crazy call&response trolley ride through the homebrewed, animatronic Neighborhood of Make-Believe at Idlewild amusement park ain't helping. "Come along, come along, to the castle hug-n-song"?? Yikes.