First day of spring = free Rita’s

There’s little of note to mark the first day of spring. No big festivals. No parades. And for the near future, no warmth either.

But, there is one thing: Free water ice.

The Trevose-based Rita’s Italian Ice will still be giving away free water ice at all of its 625 stores today, as it has for 21 years now. Rita’s, which now has stores in 21 states, is also launching a contest to win free water ice for a year by following the company on Instagram or Twitter and submitting a photo.

For the record, the vernal equinox – better known as spring - begins 7:02 a.m., according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Equinox is a Latin word meaning “equal night.” So, days and nights are approximately equal and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

The vernal and autumnal equinoxes are also the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator.

Unfortunately, Spring will start with a chill due to last for the next five days at least. Today, look for a high of 48, but sunny, according to the National Weather Service. Snow showers could follow overnight, but with little accumulation expected.

Highs will hover in the mid to high 40s until at least Tuesday.