While things might be a little damp until Sunday, it is time to declare beach season open. With temperatures in the mid-sixties for most of next week, winter seems to have finally been driven away. It was the week of March 19 last year before things warmed up enough for a beach walk. Measured by that yardstick, we are doing okay. Even going back to 2008 and comparing our weather to that year, it looks like the spring weather is on track. I heard a report today that the sound was now fifty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. With the warmer weather and water comes festival season, and it is one of the reasons that living on the Crystal Coast is so much fun.To me spring is here when I see the tents of Emerald Isle's Saint Patrick's Day Festival . While I have attended festivals when it was a little cool or damp, it is still always fun. Just about any kind of craft you can imagine is there.
You can expect plenty of great food. I particularly enjoy the barbecue chopped right in a festival tent as needed. You will find just about any food that your imagination can dream up. The whole festival is a great excuse for getting out and enjoying one of the first events of spring. I always enjoy watching for strange green things. I am never disappointed and always surprised at the creativity of some folks.
Here on the coast sometimes spring and spring events come at us very fast, but fortunately this year we are once again spared the challenge of having the Emerald Isle Saint Patrick's Day Festival and the Swansboro Oyster Roast on the same day. That happened in 2007, and it took great restraint early in the day so there was still room for plenty of oysters. This year's annual Oyster Roast is scheduled for March 20, the weekend after the Saint Patrick's Day Festival. These two events are great kickoff events for spring. They also make nice bookends for a great week at the beach.
As the daffodils get into full bloom and the Bradford pear trees begin to bloom, I suspect we will once again begin to attract tourists. I am looking forward to the first serious week of tourists which usually comes around Easter. Tourists bring new life to the area just as plants bring spring colors.
While we have to endure some rain for the next few days, the prospect of spring festivals and even some spring crops and flowers are likely enough to get me through the damp weather. It seems like the recent warmth is helping get back on tract for a normal spring. I know it is normal to get ripe strawberries sometime between the last of March and the middle of April. I suspect we have a chance of tasting some berries in that time frame.
I am hoping all the rain and cold weather have not caused any problems with the strawberry crop. Just maybe we can get an answer to that question in the next few weeks. One of my resolutions for 2010 is to make some homemade strawberry ice cream with our old White Mountain freezer. Using the old freezer will bring back a lot of memories and be a great way to entice our granddaughter to visit us down here on the Crystal Coast