Shark Week has been a staple of popular culture for more than two decades. In fact, it will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. To capitalize on this phenomenon, and in concurrence with the yearly Discovery Channel program, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper is hosting its own Shark Week.
Visitors will have the opportunity to “come face-to-face with five different shark species, watch a live shark feeding or attend a myth-busting dive talk centered around these incredible creatures,” according to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium website.
It’s no secret that Shark Week has become an exciting event every summer. But what is it that makes the program so popular?
Most people enjoy watching sharks eat things, but is that all it has to offer?
“I just love learning while watching,” said Sara Evans, a shark enthusiast. “I mean, you can Google anything you want about sharks, but Shark Week features new documentaries with new experiments and footage. Plus, you can’t really go to the aquarium and see a great white. Shark Week is the best place to learn about white sharks. They’re such pretty creatures, and I’m, like, hypnotized when I see them.”
When asked if she looks forward to Shark Week each year, Evans said, “It’s legitimately my favorite week of the year. My daughter loves the aquarium, so it’d be fun for both of us! I’ve never seen a live feeding so that’d be amazing. I’m hoping she’ll love sharks as much as I do.”
Jack Mitchell, another local resident and fan of Shark Week, echoed Evans’ enthusiasm.
“Growing up, Shark Week was my favorite week of the year,” Mitchell said. “I looked forward to Shark Week, and when it was on Netflix, I watched it all in one night.” He was unaware that the Living Planet Aquarium was hosting an event this week, but said, “That makes me want to go. That would probably be the best way to spend Pioneer Day!”
Not everyone is as up-to-date with the phenomenon, however, nor is everyone as enthusiastic about the event as Mitchell and Evans.
“Well, I know little to nothing about it,” said Anthony VanDongen. “My mom loves it. She texted my brother and I, and my brother was like, ‘Since when do we ever watch Shark Week?’”
Regarding the Michael Phelps race versus a great white shark, VanDongen said, “I saw him on Jimmy Fallon and they mentioned it, but that’s all I know.” He was also unaware of the aquarium event, but said, “I’m going to do that. Like, I really will. Sharks are cool.”
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, located at 12033 South Lone Peak Parkway in Draper, is hosting their Shark Week event from July 23 until July 29, to run parallel with the Discovery Channel program. They are open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.