CHARLOTTE, NC — March came in like a lion — with a toothache — for much of the country, but hang in there. Spring officially arrives Tuesday, March 20, and people in North Carolina are already starting to shake off winter and fill the calendar with events.
One big upcoming event is the first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament March 16-18 at the Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte.
Spring arrives when the vernal equinox officially arrives at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the 20th. That’s when the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun, bringing earlier sunrises, later sunsets, softer winds and green plants sprouting from the ground. In theory. Let’s hope so.
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Here are five need-to-know dates in the Charlotte-metro region:
March 8: International Women’s Day takes on added prominence this year due to the #MeToo movement that gave voice to throngs of women to talk about issues ranging from sexual harassment to pay equality. In the Charlotte region, what woman most inspires you and why? Tell us in the comments.
March 11: Daylight Saving Time actually arrives before the start of spring. Remember the maxim — spring forward, and set your clock ahead an hour. Most cell phones and devices will automatically update.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so expect extra revelry this year. In Charlotte, uptown will turn green for the 22nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which kicks off at 9th Street and North Tryon Street at 11 a.m. The Charlotte Goes Green Festival, which features Irish dancing and music, runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. More information about the festival’s entertainment schedule can be found here.
March 24: The national “March for our Lives” rally protesting gun violence and calling for an end to school shootings takes place in Washington, D.C., and many cities across the country. The national event is being spearheaded by students in Parkland, Florida, who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In Charlotte, a sister event will be held at First Ward Park at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
March 30: This date marks important religious holidays for Christians and Jews. It’s Good Friday, which begins the four-day Easter observance for Christians. For Jews, it’s the beginning of the seven-day Passover observance.
In Charlotte, Good Friday and Easter services will be held throughout the area, including at Calvary Church and Elevation, which has numerous locations throughout the Charlotte and Lake Norman area. In addition to services, Freedom House church is organizing a helicopter easter egg drop in Cornelius on Saturday, March 31, with inflatables, an easter bunny and food trucks. Temple Bethel is also hosting a Second Night Seder. In the Lake Norman area, St. Therese Catholic Church will present Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
What other important events are scheduled this month? Let your neighbors know in the comment section.
Patch file photo