I know, it's a hard thing to narrow down to just one. But bear with me. I follow a local TV station's Facebook page and Twitter feed, and on a regular basis they post the day's expected sunset time for Cedar Rapids. The other night, when they posted that the sun would go down at 7:55 p.m. my excitement started to escalate. Once we hit that 8 p.m. sharp mark and beyond, that's always my favorite sure sign that summer is near!

Yes, the daylight continues to extend as soon as daylight saving time begins, which is the whole point of "springing forward" in March, but I'll tell you, there's nothing better than eventually having the sun still shining until around 9:00 in the evening. It's fun to finally break out of hibernation and go out at night in the summer when you have plenty of daylight--and of course, warmth--to do so. It's also sometimes nice to have the weather decent enough to be able to watch the sun go down in person, in real time.

What is your one favorite specific signal that ushers in summer? Are you like me and enjoy the extended daylight? Is it when the weather gets consistently warm, that first chance to break out the grill, or the chance to put on shorts and flip-flops? Maybe it's the first time your favorite bar/restaurant opens their outdoor patio seating? Let us know in the comments.

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