The flowering trees and plants festoon the city in white and pink blossoms. Petals fall like so much confetti.
The Foxfield Races have become a rite of spring over the last 30 years. Where else can one wear a formal hat or a seersucker suit while enjoying the thrill of a horse race? Race day is Saturday, April 24, 2010.
3. Festival of the Book
Dream about meeting famous authors? This year’s Virginia Festival of the Book will bring more than 200 writers from every genre to Charlottesville. Some of the literary glitterati who will attend include Elizabeth Strout, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge, and Colum McCann, who won the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin. The festival is March 17-21, 2010.
After making history last year by reaching the College World Series in Omaha, the UVA baseball team again hit a high-water mark this season by being ranked No. 1 in the nation. Catch the action at Davenport Field, where the team plays 26 more home games before heading to the ACC tournament May 26-30, 2010.
Mortarboards and black gowns. Inspiring speeches. The parade down the Lawn. In the last few years, inclement weather. Final Exercises at the University are most memorable for the bittersweet mix of pride, excitement and nostalgia of the new graduates as they receive their degrees. Finals weekend is May 22 and 23, 2010.
6. Sitting on Patios
There are few better ways to spend a warm spring evening than sitting on a patio in the company of friends. As the temperatures rise, the restaurant patios on the Downtown Mall will reopen. Fridays after Five, the free concert series at the Pavilion, will resume in April.
Reminisce with long-time friends. Enjoy dinner on the Lawn as the stars come out. Dance the night away to the music of your favorite band from your college years. If your class year ends with a five or a zero, 2010 is a reunion year. Join the fun at the University of Virginia Reunions Weekend on June 4-6, 2010.
Water is high in the spring on the Rivanna and the James rivers, so grab a canoe or kayak and start paddling. If you don’t have a boat, there are many outdoors equipment rentals available. The University’s own Outdoor Recreation Center offers members of the University community access to boats, life jackets, paddles and other river gear.
Tour formal gardens, walled gardens, annual and perennial gardens, herb gardens, water gardens and even secret gardens during Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Visitors interested in architecture and interior decorating will enjoy house tours. Monticello, the University’s Pavilion homes and gardens as well as Carr’s Hill are among the properties that will be open to visitors April 17-25, 2010.
10. Dogwood Festival
Enjoy BBQs, fireworks, a parade and a ball at this year’s Dogwood Festival. In the 1970s, the Dogwood Festival featured notables like Elizabeth Taylor, who was the parade grand marshall in 1977. Look for this year’s Dogwood Queen, Kathryn Rachel Scott, among the revelers at the parade on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
Lacrosse fans throng to Klöckner Stadium to cheer on UVA’s perennially powerful squads. Both the men’s and women’s teams advanced to the NCAA tournament last year, and fans are eager to see if the Cavaliers can add another NCAA title to the programs’ legacy.
12. No More Snow
The snow has finally melted. This year, Charlottesville broke records for snowfall. In December, the biggest snowstorm ever dropped 17 inches of snow, which beat the previous record set in December 1969 of 16 inches. Let’s hope that the snowpocalypse is over.
Who doesn’t love a concert? At this year’s SpringFest, students are voting for which band they want to play at the Amphitheater. The contenders: Passion Pit, Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, Kid Cudi or Matt & Kim. Come enjoy free music, free food, inflatables and a Gusburger-eating contest on May 1, 2010.
Put on your running shoes and jog through the heart of Charlottesville with 2,500 other athletes. The course will be lined with spectators to cheer you on. Run the Charlottesville Ten Miler on Saturday, April 3, 2010. If you’re not quite ready for the Ten Miler, there are plenty of shorter races in the area.
The Snyder Tennis Center next to Memorial Gym bustles with tennis lovers of all abilities during the spring, and UVA fans turn out in force to cheer on the women’s and men’s tennis teams. The latter, the top-ranked squad in the nation, has seven more home matches before heading to the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
Students on the Street: What do you like about spring?
Did we miss something? Tell us your favorite thing about spring in C’ville below!