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WNY's best April Fools jokes, 2015 edition

April Fools' Day has become even more confusing due to the trend of news consumption over social media. It's tough enough to scroll through Twitter and Facebook on a typical day to determine what to believe and what to ignore on a typical day -- but on the single day when fibbing is encouraged, all hell breaks loose.

Here are the 10 (or more, as the day moves along) April Fools jokes that we noticed in Western New York:

1) Houghton College's bio-dome announcement

Summary: Yesterday, Allegany County college Houghton created a stir by emailing news outlets with a press release promoting a bio-dome that would cover the middle of campus, creating a warmer, stable climate inside the bubble to help offset the harsh winters. There's even a pool in the picture! The Dole-bio-dome partnership announcement today was probably overdoing it, though.

Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Rationale: I'm not sure if we should give Houghton credit for sending the release a day early -- March 31 -- or scold them for breaking usual April Fools' Day protocol. What is this, Black Friday? Regardless, it fooled one local TV station.

Image courtesy of Houghton College.

Image courtesy of Houghton College.

2) WYRK's Justin Timberlake at the Ralph announcement

Summary: Just before midnight Tuesday, WYRK's Rob Banks posted on the station's Facebook page that Justin Timberlake said he was scheduled to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium this summer. The write-up even had a link to the supposed Billboard story -- even though it directed to the Wikipedia April Fools' Day page.

Rating: 9.5 (out of 10, mostly because we refuse to give perfect 10s)

Rationale: The best way to fool someone with an April Fools joke? Center it on a topic that people "literally can't even" over. Rationality and calendars fly out the window when the former 'N Sync member is involved, and many fans were duped among the nearly 1,200 Facebook shares.

Justin Timberlake most recently performed in Buffalo in July 2014. No, he's not coming to Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

Justin Timberlake most recently performed in Buffalo in July 2014. No, he's not coming to Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

3) Amherst Police Department unveils ridiculously green police cars

Summary: The Amherst PD announced, via its Facebook page, that 2016's police car design would be a throwback to the 1980s. Accompanying the post was a mock-up of the vehicles.

Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

Rationale: The idea was clever, and we love it when police departments show a sense of humor. Was it believable? Not really. Were the cars absurdly ugly? Yes.

The garish cars from the Amherst Police Department's April Fools joke. (Via Amherst PD's Facebook page)

The garish cars from the Amherst Police Department's April Fools joke. (Via Amherst PD's Facebook page)

4) The Buffalo Bills and Toronto Argonauts both announce a May exhibition game

Summary: At 8 this morning, the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts tweeted that they'd scheduled an exhibition game against the Bills for May 29, citing a Rex Ryan challenge.

Rating: 7 (out of 10)

Rationale: With the Sabres taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in Buffalo, a football matchup pitting the two cities' football teams against each other wasn't a big leap. The Argos later admitted that the game was an April Fools joke, but posed a question, "Wonder who Doug Flutie would have cheered for?" Somewhere Bucky Gleason just convulsed.

[bn_tweet url="https://twitter.com/buffalobills/status/583242065431105536"]

5) North Tonawanda Police Department spots a shark in the Erie Canal

Summary: Just before 8:30 this morning, North Tonawanda PD posted a (supposed) citizen-submitted image of a fin poking out of the Erie Canal, noting a rescue operation that would be taken to comfort the clearly-distressed shark. To make the story seem credible, the department cited an animal expert, who claimed it wasn't unheard of for sharks to roam in fresh water.

Rating: 6 (out of 10)

Rationale: Not bad, but the photo could have been a little more convincing -- the black spot doesn't really look like a shark fin when you enlarge the image. The Mr. S. Harks part was clever, though.

The photo from North Tonawanda PD's Facebook page that shows a shark fin poking out of the water. Except it's just a squiggly black space.

The photo from North Tonawanda PD's Facebook page that shows a shark fin poking out of the water. Except it's just a squiggly black space.

6) Buffalo Eats updates its list of top Western New York restaurants, The Ten

Summary: With its finger on the pulse of the Buffalo food scene, Buffalo Eats has become a strong and thorough source of dining info. An April Fools prank isn't below these bloggers, though, as an updated "The Ten" was dropped this morning (click the link above).

Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

Rationale: Referring to TGI Friday's as a Blasdell gastropub was chuckle-inducing, as was the attention to detail while sampling the Arby's of the Clarence Travel Plaza. Buffalo Eats makes it sound like taking several free samples from a Walden Galleria food court is a bad thing (it's not).

The pizza stand in the First Niagara Center also made Buffalo Eats' April Fools list. (Buffalo Eats)

The pizza stand in the First Niagara Center also made Buffalo Eats' April Fools list. (Buffalo Eats)

7) WKBW and Vidlers announce that the beloved East Aurora shop would become a massive corporate department store

Summary: With the lead image of a Super Vidler's (with a Target logo in the middle), Channel 7 passed along news that popular East Aurora business Vidler's 5 & 10 had been bought out by a German firm that intended to transform the nostalgia-inducing gift store into a corporate behemoth.

Rating: 5.5 (out of 10)

Rationale: While the prank is reasonably clever, the use of the featured image -- one allegedly taken and used without permission or attribution by Vidler's -- created some Twitter drama (which is still unfolding!). Local lawyer Alan Bedenko had created the image in 2010 to mock Buffalo's waterfront development proposals at the time.

8) BreadHive claims it will start its own food truck

Summary: West Side entrepreneurial bakers BreadHive, which collaborates with several other young businesses like Public Espresso and Hydraulic Hearth, Tweeted that the business would be leave 123 Baynes St. and evolve into a food truck. The hashtag #BreadTruckHive has circulated Twitter, and a follower even suggested "Gluten for Punishment" as the truck's name (absolute genius).

Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Rationale: It's believable -- many of BreadHive's Twitter followers are hoping its true -- and the owners were so thorough with the prank that a hipster minimalist logo was created.

April Fools BreadTruckHive logo, courtesy of BreadHive's Twitter account (@Breadhive).

April Fools BreadTruckHive logo, courtesy of BreadHive's Twitter account (@Breadhive).

9) Mark C. Poloncarz and Peter Anderson announce Frightworld will move into ECMC Public Health Lab

Summary: In a press release from the office of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, the Erie County Medical Center's Public Health Laboratory was to be recreated as a year-round Frightworld attraction, as "cobwebs, scary-looking hallways and old medical waste" are already in place."

Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Rationale: The Erie County Executive and his office regularly display a sense of humor, even if this trick wasn't particularly believable. Still, the depth and creativity of the press release -- 2,000 jobs! Santa's Universe on the way for 2016! -- was amusing.

[bn_tweet url="https://twitter.com/markpoloncarz/status/583265277024034816"]

10) Step Out Buffalo announces Wayne Gretzky will open the Great Ice Castle Bar and Grill at Canalside

Summary: Step aside, Bon Jovi -- Wayne Gretzky wants to get busy in Buffalo. Step Out Buffalo, a relatively new local blog that excels on social media, posted that The Great One would use Lake Erie ice to carve his own restaurant into burgeoning Canalside, with The Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain manning the kitchen -- on weekends only.

Rating: 7 (out of 10)

Rationale: Positives -- decent name-dropping (especially William Carrier and Paulina Gretzky); Negatives -- not particularly believable; salmon jerky sounds terrible.

Honorable mention: Kiss 98.5 DJ Shy-Guy Shawn usually pops up with something clever, and here's his tweet from just before noon Wednesday. It wouldn't be a Buffalo April Fools' Day if chicken wings weren't paired with something strange.

[bn_tweet url="https://twitter.com/shyguyshawn/status/583294097672298496"]

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