Forget the groundhog, there is one event every year that signals the change in season for the Hudson Valley, and it's coming in just a few weeks.

Every year it magically happens. No matter how harsh or mild the winter, there is one date that always signals the beginning of spring in the Hudson Valley. Of course, we've had some freak snow storms in March and April that took all of us by surprise, but this one day is when everyone begins to see a marked change in the season.

While the official first day of Spring falls March 20 this year, you'll start to notice some early signs of of the season on March 3. Why is this date so important? It's the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Wappingers Falls. Every year, without fail, this seems to be the magical day that starts the ball rolling for spring. While temperatures can still be brutally cold, you'll start to notice that unmistakable "spring smell" and suddenly realize that we're getting more daylight.

I've noticed this trend for decades. Every time the parade rolls down Main Street in Wappingers Falls the air takes on a different feeling. If you don't believe me, notice it for yourself this year. We've only got a few more weeks until it happens again.