Temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming, and Wisconsinites don’t need a calendar to know spring has sprung. From bare midriffs to farm-fresh produce, here are 11 other signs it’s spring in Wisconsin.
1. Everyone is outside.
Every outdoor patio in town is packed with people. Sunbathers lay out around the lakes. Bikers and runners fill every sidewalk. Even if it’s still a little chilly outside, you tough it out in a T-shirt. Whether it’s sharing a pitcher with friends at the University of Wisconsin Student Union Terrace, hiking Devil’s Lake, or going for a stroll in the woods up north, if the sun is out, so are you.
2. Baseball season starts.
The excitement of opening day at Miller Park entices even the rare Wisconsinite who isn’t a sports enthusiast. Any excuse to drink beer and eat brats outside with your friends is a good thing. If you’re lucky, your one friend who plans everything already has a party bus lined up.
3. The snow melts, turning a beautiful white wonderland into a brown mess of dirty snow.
The mountains of snow present in every parking lot are melting, spreading a soggy black slush everywhere you step. Your shoes are hopeless victims, as is your front door entryway. You’re mopping the front hall every day just to keep the grime away.
4. You don’t have to thaw the car in the morning.
But you do have to wash your car every other day to get off all the sludgy road grime that inevitably finds its way onto your windshield. It’s still better than waking up a half hour earlier every morning to start the car, though.
5. You open the windows in your house to let the fresh air in.
The windows are open and the heat is off for the first time in six months. And let’s not forget the financial freedom that comes with a lower monthly heating bill. We all know the cost of staying warm through a Wisconsin winter is no joke.
6. The farmers market starts.
The best part of spring is doing everything outside — including your grocery shopping. With a huge farmers market in downtown Madison and dozens more in towns across the state, it’s easy to buy everything you need for the week — especially squeaky fresh cheese curds — while enjoying the springtime sun.
7. You need to wear a coat the week after you finally packed it away.
We’ve had sunny and 60 degrees weather for weeks now, but there is always that random day in April where it’s 20 and you’re cursing yourself for thinking it’d stay spring until summer.
8. The smell of grilled brats and burgers wafts from every street.
We grocery shop outside, we cook outside, and we eat outside. At least one person on your street is grilling up a delicious meaty meal on any given day, and chances are you’re invited.
9. Convertibles start appearing on the roads, even though it’s only 50 degrees.
When winter takes up half the year, Wisconsin’s convertible owners take every opportunity to put the top down.
10. Ice fishing shacks are off the lakes, and the real adventurous activities is water skiing in wetsuits.
The ice fishing shack is packed up and stored until next winter, and boats have shown up in their place. It doesn’t matter if it’s still sweater weather — sunshine and lakes mean it’s time for boating season.