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Emily Welker, Published March 09 2014

With local temps hitting mid-40s, finally, ‘it’s nice to be out’

FARGO - The snow was melting fast from Edgewood Park Sunday afternoon, but for Cooper and Nolan Mack, it was the first best chance at the sledding hill they’d had all season.

“We had them out twice last winter, but not one time this winter,” said the father of the 2- and 4-year-old boys, Bob Mack, adding that it had been too cold for the kids to go sledding so far this year. “It’s all we’ve been talking about.”

Sunday’s balmy weather was also a first outing for Sarah Gietzen and her three dogs at the Island Park Dog Park.

They hadn’t been to the dog park once all winter, and it was an unfamiliar feeling, said Gietzen, to stand in what was left of the snow in fleece instead of a winter coat.

“It’s nice to be out,” she said.

It was a major change for Joe Docimo, who had been faithfully bringing his dog, Lena, to the dog park all winter – but this time, the park was packed.

They were often the only person/dog pair there throughout the season, Docimo said, thanks to what seemed to be the endless cold.

Those days, he said, he would wind up running back and forth with Lena himself, so she could get some exercise.

“I become the other dog – nobody’s here when it’s 10 below zero,” he said. “I was thinking this is the first day without gloves on.”

Parks were busy up and down Fargo as people were out enjoying their own “firsts” in the first genuinely warm day of the year. Temperatures topped out at 44 degrees for the high on Saturday, with a low of 24 in the morning, according to WDAY-TV meteorologist Aaron White.

White expected more warm weather to come today, with a cold front moving in late in the day. After that, White predicted, temperatures would hover around the low to middle 30s. That’s near or above average for the region during this time of year, White said.

He wasn’t sure what that would do to the remaining snow.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Even today, you hear dripping all over the place.”

As Mack and his sons headed away to hike up the hill, the stretches of bare earth were already starting to encroach on what was left of the snow in the park.

“We’ll see how it holds up,” he said of the trip planned for later in the week. “Maybe there’ll still be snow.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541