ODESA — the 36th April Fool’s contest known here as Humoryna started on Prymorsky Blvd., with a display of cartoons entitled “Friendship Starts with a Smile.” It was followed by a karaoke competition on Derybasivka St., the show “Sharing Odesa’s Smile,” a circus show, a parade of Odesa teams that had taken part in the KVN brain trust competitions under the motto “Jokes Aside!”, and a show entitled “May I Live the Way I Love Odesa.”
A monument to Nikolai Gogol was unveiled in the well-known garden of the Literary Museum. The latter’s Golden Hall hosts the writer’s jubilee exhibit.
The Humoryna’s focal event was the traditional carnival “Humoryna Is Not Yet Dead” starring a hundred officers of the regional homicide division who wore Soviet uniforms dating to various periods or gangsters’ costumes. “The criminal police of Odesa can work on cases and take part in such merry events. I would also wear a costume, but they couldn’t find my size at the local film studios,” says Anatolii Khlevny, deputy chief of Odesa police force.
Most of his colleagues and subordinates worked on April 1. Odesa Mayor Eduard Hurovets says April 1 and City Day, marked on September 2, are his busiest days. Odesa janitors agree with their mayor, except that they start working on April 2.
Odesa’s first Humoryna was held on April 1, 1973. The project was the brainchild of a group of authors, including Oleh Stashkevych (currently Mykhailo Zhvanetsky’s literary secretary). The project’s mascot, “The Merry Sailor” was designed by the artist Alik Tsykun. Since then Humoryna has attracted thousands of visitors. According to the Odesa City Council, Humoryna held on April 1, 2008, gathered some 150,000 guests.