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Why is February 28th Known as ‘Koe Wetzel Day’?

February 20, 2024 1:23 pm GMT

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It now feels as though every other day is some kind of holiday. On an almost daily basis, as you stumble bleary-eyed into your office, you and your cherished cup of coffee are given a jolt as someone shouts out, ‘Happy National Baked Alaska Day!’ or ‘Happy Bubblegum Day!’ (both of which are, bizarrely, real events).

Another unofficial holiday that has made its way onto the calendar falls on February 28th, with country fans taking the opportunity to wish everyone a ‘Happy Koe Wetzel Day!’

But why has this day been chosen to celebrate Texas’ fast-emerging country-rockstar, Koe Wetzel?

It all goes back to a song Koe released as part of his acclaimed 2016 record, Noise Complaint, entitled, ‘February 28th, 2016’. It tells the story of a drunken night out in Stephenville, Texas, which led to Koe being arrested for public intoxication.

He subsequently spent a couple of nights in Erath country jail, which inspired the track. Ironically, although it remains an undisputed fan-favourite, Koe Wetzel - in his trademark laid-back drawl - regularly dismisses it as one of his ‘worst’ songs.

Due to ‘February 28th, 2016’ blossoming into a beloved cult classic among Koe's fiercely loyal fanbase, they soon began championing the date as ‘Koe Wetzel Day’.

Each year, when February 28th arrives, Koe Wetzel tends to join in and offer some form of brief, cursory advice to his listeners regarding how they should celebrate the occasion. In 2021, for instance, he took to Twitter to share, “Happy February 28th, go to church”, and the following year, he simply wrote, “Y'all be safe today”.

In a 2018 interview, the up-and-coming artist revealed the story behind the song, “‘February 28th, 2016’ is a song I wrote after I got picked up in Stephenville. I kind of already had the idea for it, and then I got picked up one night in Stephenville and spent a couple nights in Erath country jail. I got out, finished the song, and every time I hear it or every time we play it, I just go back to Stephenville. I was in Stephenville for five or six years, so it’s like a second home to me”.

The bearded crooner went on to underline how, although he often introduces ‘February 28th, 2016’ in his setlist as one of his least favourite tracks, it still holds a special place in his heart, “This song really means a lot to me and the guys, and it kind of just takes us back to where we were at at that point in our lives”.

Excitingly, Koe seems to have something special up his sleeve for February 28th, 2024, with the ‘Drunk Driving’ singer-songwriter launching a countdown earlier in the month.

It's not yet clear if he's planning on dropping a new song - or perhaps even a full project - but either way, it seems this year's instalment of ‘Koe Wetzel Day’ might be the best yet...

For more on Koe Wetzel, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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