Wake up, it’s March!

   As you might have guessed from the absence of my column for the past several weeks, I’m more of a “hibernate in winter” gal.
   But today is March 1, and spring is on the way.
   I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m an Aries (born March 29) and am just anxious to get to my day, or if it’s the additional daylight that makes me want to shake off the winter blahs when March rolls around.
   It’s the light at the end of a very dark and bitterly cold tunnel.
   While the Twin Tiers features a ton of great winter activities and events, opportunities to get out in the community and mingle tend to increase as spring approaches.
   March is Women’s History Month, and over the last few years local and regional artists, musicians and organizations have created an array of events that celebrate all things feminine, making March a very busy month.
   The Cantata Singers of Elmira, together with several regional schools and cultural organizations, have collaborated to create “Festival of Women in the Arts,” a series of community events to highlight Women’s History Month. It’s especially apropos because the Twin Tiers has been home to many inspiring and influential women throughout history, including Crystal Eastman, Margaret Sanger and Eileen Collins.
   “Festival of Women in the Arts” events include The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes’ “Family Concert” presentation on March 7 at the Clemens Center in Elmira; “A Spring Celebration of Women in the Arts” featuring the Crystal Chords, Women’s Chorale of 171 Cedar, Irish Step Dancing, and others, on March 14 at Cohen Middle School in Elmira Heights; and Valley Folk presents Anne Hills in concert on March 20 at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning. A complete schedule of events is available at www.cantatasingers.com.
   Area galleries and museums will also feature special exhibits throughout the month of March.
   Check out “The Feminine,” an exhibition consisting of work by several accomplished artists including Vani Akula, Mavin Ambrose, Chris Bell, Lynn Dates, Jan Kather, Marty Poole, Dan Reidy, and many others.
   The exhibit is on display March 5 through April 9 in the Third Floor Gallery at CCC Academic and Workforce Development Center, 318 Madison Ave. in Elmira. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 5. The event is free and open to the public.
   The Corning Museum of Glass will continue celebratin’ the shamrock at its “Day After St. Patrick’s Day” 2300 Degrees event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 18. The fantastic Celtic band The Town Pants will provide the jams with live glassblowing shows, and tasty food and drink available.
   While I may have been in hibernation mode, I did muster up the energy to plan an event of my own.
   I’m one of those people that go nuts for my birthday. I’ve always loved my special day, and am keen to share my elation with others. This year I decided to donate my birthday party to one of my favorite causes.
   Cat’s Mad Hatter Birthday Benefit Bash will be a fun evening to raise money for the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA. The event takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 26 at the Starlite Room, 3018 Lake Road in Elmira Heights.
   I wanted to make this an enjoyable evening filled with great peeps supporting a great community organization.
   There will be a wine tasting by Heron Hill Winery, hors d’oeuvres, DJ dance music, several giveaways and surprises.
   Admission is $10 and those who wear a hat for the Mad Hatter Contest will have the chance to win an amazing basket filled with “a few of my favorite things.” All proceeds benefit the animal shelter.
   I hope everyone comes out to help support a great local charity.
   Enjoy the great events listed here, and rejoice as warm, spring weather makes its way to the Twin Tiers.