Hampton Roads agencies post April Fools’ Day jokes online


Whether you’re a jokester or not, it’s hard to steer clear of antics on April 1. And this April Fools’ Day was no different in Hampton Roads.

NORFOLK, Va. — Whether you’re a jokester or not, it’s hard to steer clear of antics on April 1. And this April Fools’ Day was no different as multiple Hampton Roads agencies joined in on the fun with fictitious social media posts that were — almost — believable.

No, there were no sightings of a Beluga whale in Hampton Roads. But if you saw the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s Facebook post, you might have thought one had been spotted in Virginia Beach.

RELATED: 32 years ago: When Mt. Trashmore ‘blew up’ in an April Fools’ Day prank

Aquarium officials made a splash online when they posted a photo of a beluga whale that the Stranding Response Team was allegedly responding to at Rudee Inlet. 

Viewers who investigated further would find they’d be tricked, with the aquarium’s website reading: “Bamboozled. Bewildered. Befuddled. Beluga’ed.”

Officials continued: “The only U.S. state belugas are found in is Alaska. We would be very alarmed to encounter one locally.”

The Norfolk International Airport and the Norfolk Botanical Garden joined forces this April Fools’ Day. 

The two agencies posted photoshopped images — that could be mistaken as a mock-up design — of a skylift that would connect the airport and the garden.

“We are excited to partner with Norfolk International Airport to give guests another exciting way to enter the Garden,” Norfolk Botanical Garden wrote on Facebook. “You will be able to ride in the new Sky Lift to & from the airport to experience an aerial view of our 175 acres of blooming plants. The sky’s the limit when it comes to The Garden of Tomorrow!🌺”

We are excited to partner with our neighbor @Norfolk Botanical Garden to give guests another exciting way to visit. Ride…

Posted by Norfolk International Airport on Monday, April 1, 2024

In a now-deleted post, Norfolk State University (NSU) falsely claimed former first lady Michelle Obama would be the commencement speaker for the 2024 graduating class.

NSU took to social media again to clear up any confusion the initial post sparked.

“Your reactions to our April Fools’ were priceless” the university’s post reads. “Can’t promise it’ll happen again, but we loved the laughs. Nothing wrong with wishful thinking!”

These antics may have not fooled many, but the same can’t be said about the infamous April Fools prank a local radio station pulled 32 years ago.

On April 1, 1992, FM 99 claimed Mount Trashmore had exploded due to a build-up of methane underneath the Virginia Beach park. Although it wasn’t true, it sent many residents into a frenzy — blowing up the city’s 911 lines.





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