Summer is here!

What? Too soon?

Nevertheless, with the forecast calling for plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-twenties, the first weekend of May is shaping up to be very summerlike.

That’s music to the ears of Les Gagne, organizer of Ottawa’s second outdoor poutine festival in two weeks. Customers at Marion Dewar Plaza were steady Friday afternoon, many having poutine picnics on the grass. They should be even better over the weekend. “If today is any indication of what we can expect over the next few days, I think we’re going to have a fun time here,” says Gagne.

It’s an example of how eager people are to get outside once the weather turns sunny and warm.

But spring sunshine is not without its perils.

“I think I just got a sun burn on my arm,” says Catherine Page. The UV Index was 6 on Friday, which is already creeping into the high range. Sunscreen is definitely an option.

Garden centres are enjoying this weather as it encourages people to exercise their green thumbs. While it might be a good time to buy plants, it’s still too actually plant most of them. Who knows what Mother Nature could still bring? “I've been in the business 40 years and I have seen snow on Mothers’ Day, 24th of May weekend. We've had a frost on the 15th of June,” says Neil Ritchie of Ritchie Feed and Seed.

Ritchie, like most experts, recommends you wait until May 24th.

Other things to consider as you embrace the weather this weekend include remembering that a city-wide burn ban is still in effect in Ottawa.

And police are already starting to warn pet owners about leaving their pets in the car. If the sun is warm outside, the inside of a car can be deadly to an animal in a matter of minutes.