We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Where Is the “Leap Year Capital of the World”?

Margaret Lipman
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

It’s hard being a leap year baby. From only getting to celebrate your real birthday every four years to the constant jokes about whether you’re actually old enough to drive/vote/drink, there is plenty for “Leaplings” (also known as “29ers”) to grumble about.

But there’s at least one perk to having a birthday on February 29: a quadrennial celebration in the twin towns of Anthony, on the Texas-New Mexico border.

Every leap year since 1988, individuals sharing the calendar’s rarest date of birth have gathered for several days of festivities. Although the event has changed in recent years (sadly, the iconic parade is no more), the Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Celebration continues to attract people born on February 29 from around the United States and the world, as well as friends, family, and the public.

Mary Ann Brown and Birdie Lewis, neighbors from Anthony who shared the unusual February 29 birthday, came up with the idea for the festival with the goal of fundraising for community projects and raising the profile of the Texas and New Mexico towns, along with celebrating the oddity of having a leap year birthday.

Perhaps the most notable iteration of the festival was the millennium leap year. For the 2000 event, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash and his then-wife, Susan, attended the festival to celebrate Susan’s birthday. Susan wore a mermaid costume loaned by actress Bette Midler for the parade, while Graham Nash performed a free concert.

Leap year babies:

  • Festival founder Mary Ann Brown was born on February 29, 1932. She joked about officially turning 21 at the 2016 event, even though she was really 84 at the time. She died in 2021, having officially celebrated 22 Leap Day birthdays.

  • While a common calendar year has 365 days, a leap year has 366. The extra day is inserted because the actual length of time it takes for the Earth to orbit the Sun is 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 9 seconds (known as a sidereal year). Without leap days, the seasons would gradually drift out of sync.

  • Having trouble remembering when a leap year falls? One big clue is that they nearly always align with presidential election years, though if it’s the final year of a century, it must be divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not.

  • The French newspaper La Bougie du Sapeur is published exclusively on leap days. This year’s issue will be its 12th edition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.