March Equinox 2013: The 7 Best Things About Spring

Believe it or not, March 20 marks the first day of spring. The worst winter weather is behind us, so get excited about everything this new season has to offer.

1. Cinco de Mayo 


Cinco de Drinko conveniently falls on a Sunday this year, meaning work and school will not get in the way of honoring the 1862 Mexican defeat of the French at the city of Puebla. From El Paso to Portland, you can celebrate this holiday according to tradition by finding a festival with mariachi music and dance, such as at the San Francisco Cinco de Mayo festival or at the 16th annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. If guacamole and margaritas are more your speed, then there are plenty of merries to be made across the country, such as at Orlando’s Might as well be Cinco pub crawl on Friday, May 3.

2. Sasquatch! Festival


What better way to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend than at a 4-day music festival in the middle of Washington State? Headliners this year include Mumford & Sons, the Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Vampire Weekend, and Steve Aoki, to name a few. If that doesn’t entice you, then the scenic concert venue itself might: The Gorge is an amphitheater carved into basalt cliffs above the Columbia River Gorge! Although a shower may cost you $3 if you’re a “Standard camper,” the shows happen rain or shine and parking is free! For more information on the Northwest’s best-kept secret and how to buy tickets, visit sasquatchfestival.com.

3. Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby 


Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway, Luhrmann’s much anticipated project is set to release in the U.S. on May 10, five days before it debuts as the opener at the Cannes film festival. If the hypnotic glamour of the trailer hasn’t already created an almost unbearable sense of expectation, a statement recently announced that rapper Jay-Z is slated to produce the soundtrack to the 3-D adaption of the Fitzgerald classic (if you didn’t catch “No Church in the Wild,” his collaboration with Kanye, playing in the trailer).  Give Gatsby a shot even if you didn’t like Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, the glittering party scenes and loose morals (not to mention DiCaprio) are guaranteed not to disappoint.

4. The Color Run


No need to train (or shower) before this five-kilometer, untimed race; the only rule is you must wear white. At each kilometer, runners of all ages who are participating only to promote healthiness and happiness (the Color Run is allegedly known as “the Happiest 5k on the Planet”) are doused in an array of colors from head to toe. Fret not, the color explosions are 100% natural and safe, made out of food grade cornstarch, and will most likely wash out entirely from clothing after the event. In addition to its emphasis on fun, the Color Run chooses a local charity or organization to support at every city it visits. Find out when the Color Run is coming to your hometown before registration sells out!

5. “Ring of Fire” Eclipse


Spring is a great season to enjoy both daytime and nighttime events. Mark your calendar on May 9th for the annular solar eclipse, during which a ring of sunlight will remain blazing around the moon for six whole minutes! This type of eclipse occurs when the long, umbral shadow cone of the moon is too short to reach the Earth, effectively making the moon’s surface appear approximately 5% smaller than the disk of the sun. At 3:48 pm, Hawaiian time, Hawaiians will be able to see a partial eclipse, during which the moon will cover around 30% of the sun’s disk.  

6. White House Easter Egg Roll


Monday, April 1, marks the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn. Themed “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You,” this year’s celebration will include family activities such as games and dancing, as well cooking demonstrations that focus on healthy eating in keeping with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. In response to reports that egg roll ticket recipients had recently received emails warning them that the event might be cancelled as a result of budget issues, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the annual egg roll will still go on despite the sequestration. So it seems that $85 billion budget cuts or not, eggs will roll come April 1. 

7. Outdoor seating


I don’t just mean restaurants. The springtime is rife with events that require spectating outside.  Whether you find yourself playing Waspy at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Liberty State Park, or checking out what our Navy and Marines have been up to during Fleet Week in New York City, or sunning yourself while watching the Atlantic Cup sailing race in Newport, Rhode Island, there is no shortage of outdoor events during spring.