Arrival of spring is a relief for many

By WEEK Producer

March 20, 2014 Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Its finally here. The first day of spring. Even if it doesn't quite look like it.

But that didn't stop some people from thinking spring.

"It feels great just being in the fresh air and exercising a little bit outside," said Kelly Mehl, after hitting some golf balls at her Wee Tee driving range.

Maybe the first exercise that doesn't include shoveling snow.

But Old Man Winter isn't a distant memory yet. For instance, the Bradley baseball team hasn't been able to play a true home game because the field at Peoria's Dozer Park isn't ready.

"This past week they were supposed to play," said Peoria Chiefs' president Rocky Vonachen. "We told them a couple of weeks ago that because of all the snow and the frost in the ground that we weren't going to be ready until probably the weekend of the 28th, 29th and 30th."

Another sure sign of spring. Lawn furniture displays at the local hardware store.

"We had people coming in buying their stuff for their yard. They're just itching to get out there and just get at spring and summer," said Tamara Hayes, an employee at Tim's Ace Hardware on North Knoxville.

They're thinking spring at Hoerr Nursery, where even a couple of spring-like days will make business bloom.

"When the weather turns nice the phones start ringing," explained David Ploussard. "People stop in and they're ready to look for trees, they're ready to start planting. Some people even want to get their tomatoes going. They'll buy seeds."