Shoulder Season and Year Round Weather Tips

Here we are in March, with the bulk of winter behind us and the hope of an early spring ahead!

Next week, we change the clocks to gain an extra hour of light after the work day. This should make it easier to get outside for some exercise.

I love outdoor activities, including cross country skiing, hiking, mountain biking in the summer, and fat biking in the winter. Of course, all of these things depend on the weather. Having the proper gear to deal with the climate is essential.

The heart of the winter and the heart of the summer are pretty easy to gear up for to enjoy a seasonal activity. You can usually adjust your clothing and gear for any condition.

It's the shoulder seasons that make outdoor fun a challenge or even limit your choices completely. Late fall and early spring are included.

During shoulder seasons you deal with mud, rain, sleet, ice, wind, and lack of snow, all of which can make any activity outside either unpleasant or downright impossible.

Here in Minnesota, it has been in the 40's during the day, which has decimated a lot of ski trails and forced the closure of the mountain bike trails.

Fat biking has been possible at night in some places, if you have studded tires and lights.

In the Twin Cities, we do have some man-made snow left at Hyland Park Reserve and Elm Creek Park Reserve if you are into xc skiing.

Trail hiking is always possible with the proper footwear including some of my favorites, Yaktrax which give you traction and Merrell Moab shoes, which are waterproof.

Adaptability is the key!

In addition to being a challenging time for outdoor activities, it is also a slower time, business-wise, for us here at Divine Swine Catering. Holiday events are over, and weddings and company events have not kicked in yet.

We certainly can and do cater events indoors, and there are plenty of tremendous venues that are great year-round. Everything, including our roasters, can be moved indoors if the customer has the space!

                                                       We are truly a year-round caterer!

We can and do carve meats ahead of time if you don't have room for a roaster!

It's really funny how similar our business is to local downhill skiing. If the sun shines, our phones start to ring....if there is snow in the front yard, people go ski!  This despite the fact that we can carry everything indoors and the downhill areas make most of their snow.

Not everyone retreats indoors for their event, though. A few hearty groups have hired us to cater a day on the lake ice fishing!

One really fun aspect to speaking with customers this time of year, who are planning summer events, is the sound of hope in their voices.....hope for a warm sunny day in general and certainly for their special event!

Sometimes just planning a special event gives folks something to look forward to on these bleary shoulder season days!

Some customers have boosted employee morale by hosting a complete winter Hawaiian Luau with decor, leis, and even sand for people to bury their toes in!

We do offer advice for those concerned about the weather, even in the summer months:

-find a place with at minimum, a pavilion
-if there is no pavilion, rent a tent
-have umbrellas on hand for your guests
-offer a simple shuttle if parking forces guests to walk any distance
-offer custom printed items with your corporate logo (or bride and grooms names) to help folks deal with the weather....we have seen mugs, water bottles, sunglasses, blankets, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hand-held fans
-have a pro service come and spray your area for mosquitos
-rent fans or space heaters
-offer hot and cold drinks
-have a backup plan!

We Minnesotans are a hardy group. Just wait for the first sunny 50 degree day, and you will see people in t-shirts and shorts, either walking or running,  on road bikes, on motorcycles or even picnicking just to get some precious rays.

Count us in as members of that group....we will cater your event at any location, in any weather, year round! Let us know how we may be of service.


The Pig Penner


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