Leap Day love, lore and loot

Leap Day love, lore and loot

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Visitors can enjoy free Ferris Wheel rides on Navy Pier on Leap Day. (WBEZ/Preeti Upadhyaya)

It’s Leap Day, that magical extra day tacked onto every fourth February to make up for lost time—and to keep Christmases white. If February 29th was left by the wayside, calendar dates would drift into different seasons. It would be a slow drift, it takes 100 years to drift 24 days, but 700 years later, Santa would be coming down the chimney in board shorts and Hawaiian Tropic. So producers Carrie Shepherd and Katie O’Brien leapt at the chance to cover the cosmic calendar conundrum—and all the cheap puns that came with it.

Listen to a discussion of this post on Afternoon Shift

Here’s a succinct scientific explanation for anyone who’s interested.

Leap Day is also known as Sadie Hawkins Day—according to old Irish lore, it’s the day when women can propose to men. And if her offer was declined, the object of her affection would pay a forfeit—money, a kiss or sometimes, a silk dress. It’s easy to see why this role reversal was made into a rom-com starring Amy Adams a few years ago—eat your heart of Katherine Heigl.

Some people really love the idea of getting married on a Leap Day. Chicagoans Dustin Drase and Morgan Louise Phillips are tying the knot tonight at the Hideout—they knew they wanted to get married on a special day but since they couldn’t pinpoint Batman’s birthday, they’ve decided to take a leap of love.

As one of America’s 200,000 “leaplings” born on a Leap Day, attorney Jonathan Golding is forever young. Golding is technically celebrating his 10th birthday today though he was quick to say he’s actually 40 years old.

Perhaps he’ll cash in on one of the many deals happening around the city. Navy Pier, home of WBEZ’s studios, seems to be the epicenter of leaping.

There are plenty of deals to go around:
-Get a free cookie if you buy a $5 foot-long at Subway
-“Leaplings” can claim up to a dozen cupcakes (depending on their age) at Sprinkles Cupcakes
-Frontier, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin Airlines are offering deals on flights
-Trump Hotel Chicago is offering 29 percent savings off all suites for anyone who books on Leap Day