7.5 going on 30

Leap year babies celebrating on different days and in different ways in St. John’s

Beth Penney

February has come and gone, and leap-year babies are halfway to being a full year older

Some celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 28, many celebrate on March 1 and some claim they wait for Feb. 29 to roll around every four years.

The last Feb. 29 was in 2016, and the next will be in 2020.

LeiAnn Hynes, who celebrated her 11th-and-a-half birthday on Wednesday, says her birth date was always a debate among family members.

“My mother says since I was born in February, that’s when I should celebrate,” she said. “But I remember others telling me that I wasn’t born on the 28th, so I should celebrate March 1.”

Lindsay Stapleton was born on Feb. 29, 1992. She says when she was young she didn’t want to choose just one day to celebrate.

“I used to have two parties, which was amazing,” she said. “Who said I have to pick just one day to celebrate?”

Lindsay Stapleton and her boyfriend Matt Kelly celebrate her 26th birthday. Stapleton is a leap-year baby who celebrates on Feb. 28. Submitted photo.

Stapleton says she has always had a special celebration on her ‘real’ birthday.

“When I was younger we would typically have a bigger party,” said Stapleton. “But on my last real birthday, my boyfriend took me on a cruise. That was extra special.”

Kim Marsh’s son Ryan turned six on his birthday. They’ve chosen to celebrate on March 1 every non-leap year.

“People always ask why we don’t celebrate on the 28th,” she said. “He wasn’t here on the 28th. He was still in my belly.”

Marsh says she couldn’t believe when the doctors told her the due date.

“I was like, ‘No, no, no,’” she said, laughing. “It either has to be the 28th or the first.”

Ben Hamel, another leaper living in Newfoundland, says that he almost didn’t become a leap-year baby.

“My mom was in labour for 23 hours,” he said. “Sorry, mom.”

Hamel says he has always enjoyed having such a unique birthdate.

“It’s fun saying that I’ve only had seven birthdays,” said Hamel. “And then I can see who actually picks up on it.”

Not only is it a special feeling – but every year there are also some perks that come along with the birthday.

WestJet took flight for the very first time on Feb. 29. 1996. Stapleton says it’s the perfect time to book a birthday trip.

“They always have birthday specials,” she said. “So I tend to always book a trip with their 29 per cent off deal.”




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