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Published March 18 2012

For sun lovers, it’s March Gladness

FARGO – A bit of wind and bluster couldn’t stop sun-seekers from taking advantage of yet another day of record high temperatures here Sunday.

The thermometer in Fargo hit 78 degrees, beating the previous high of 72 set in 1910 and falling just short of the second 80-degree March day in the city’s history.

In spite of winds gusting near 40 miles per hour, residents jumped at the chance to get an early start on outdoor activities usually reserved for a different part of the calendar.

“My birthday was just the other week, and usually it’s blizzard time,” said Larissa Bosserman. Instead, the North Dakota State University student and Fargo resident was washing her Mini Cooper by hand in her driveway and thinking about when it would be time to start her outdoor garden.

At Lindenwood Park, meanwhile, Dan Bruns and his JDP Electric softball team were on the diamond for batting practice in weather that could have come straight from the Twins’ spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla.

“I golfed yesterday and played softball today,” said Bruns. His only worry: “If this keeps up, how long do we really want to be practicing? The season doesn’t start for two months.”

Other parks around town were bustling with children at play, bikers and rollerbladers in shorts, and the occasional picnic. A few people were playing tennis on courts that did not yet have nets (on Friday, one enterprising group improvised by draping a rug and other articles over a clothesline).

Fargo also set record highs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This time of year is typically reserved for temperatures in the mid-30s – and recently, full-blown flood fights.

About that: The Red River was measured at 17.8 feet Saturday, just shy of its minor flood stage at 18 feet. It’s expected to crest Sunday or today, and has a chance to come in below 18 feet for the first time since 1992.

The warm days caught at least one seasonal business by surprise. Pat Gores, owner of Pat’s Treats ice cream trucks, usually sends his fleet out around mid-April – maybe a few weeks earlier if it’s warmer than 60 degrees.

Now, he’s scrambling to get his products on hand so he can get an early start.

“It’ll be in midweek,” he said. “We’re excited to get started.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502