Moorhead boy, who lives at 11th Street and 11th Avenue, turns 11 on 11/11/11
FARGO - 11/11/11: Good luck or the end of the world?
It depends on whom you ask.
For 10-year-old Gunner Parr, he's hoping for the former as he turns 11 on this once-a-century day.
It wasn't long after Gunner was born that his grandmothers found how special his golden birthday would likely be.
"We were in the hospital, and we said to each other, 'Oh, my gosh, he's going to be popular on his 11th birthday,' " said great-grandmother Betty Cannon.
His mother, Nichole Parr, said the family is planning a weekend celebration complete with a surprise for Gunner and his fifth-grade class at Robert Asp Elementary School.
Gunner Parr said he thinks the unique birthday has been a sign of good luck - which would make sense.
An old adage says it is good luck to make a wish when clocks read 11:11. The origin and reasoning of the clock-watching command is unclear.
Bride-to-be Rebekah Smithson, whose wedding is planned in Fargo today, said she often makes a wish if she catches the moment on the clock. She said today's unique date played a small part in her wedding planning.
"That was some of it, and some of it helps that the 11th of November is a holiday, so a lot of (businesses) were closed," Smithson said. "(We're hoping for) lots of good luck."
Alicia Weigel, owner of Bliss Events & Weddings, said Smithson is not the only one to take note of the potentially prosperous date.
"Nationally, it is a huge date for everybody, but I think since it was a Friday, it might have been a little bit of a deterrent," Weigel said.
Weigel said the date was popular enough in this area to fill up most venues, forcing one bride to choose Saturday for a wedding-day second choice. Weigel said that still, the day was lackluster compared to the demand of another day this year.
"It wasn't as a huge as I thought it would be. 9/10/11 was actually bigger," Weigel said.
Brittany Zinniel and her fiancé, Richard Nordick, of Fargo didn't factor the numerical significance of the date when choosing today for their wedding.
Instead, they chose a date after harvest.
"We didn't want a summer wedding. It kind of just fit us," Zinniel said. "We're not superstitious. We've heard so many things (good luck and bad luck). It's just kind of another day; we liked it because it had a nice ring to it."
The wedding date has been good luck for former Fargoans Kevin Baker and his wife, Cheryl. His mother, Janice Baker, said the couple will celebrate 11 years of marriage today. They make their home in Celebration, Fla., where their address includes the house number 1111.
Some see darker meaning in the palindrome, which is a sequence that reads the same forward as it does backward.
Doomsday theorists have prophesied 11/11/11 to be the date of the Apocalypse. One of the most popular Armageddon predictions is linked to the Mayan calendar and marks Dec. 21, 2012, as the last day for Mother Earth, with the end coming at precisely 11:11. (Guesses are mixed on whether that means a.m. or p.m.)
Regardless of the fortune the day brings, it should apply all across the globe. It is one of the few that reads the same numerically in the U.S. (month/day/year) as it does in Europe (day/month/year) and China (year/month/day).
The last time it was 11/11/11 100 years ago, it marked a record-breaking, wild-weather day.
On Nov. 11, 1911, temperatures in many parts of the Midwest dropped by more than 60 degrees during the day. Known as the "Great Blue Norther," the cold snap caused blizzards and tornadoes as well as record falls in temperature.
Today's weather is predicted to reach a high of 54 degrees with sunny skies, according to WDAY-TV.
In a state that has seen blizzards and a record low on Nov. 11, hitting the mid-50s may just prove 11/11/11 lucky after all.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530