Leap Day "Leapers" unite for rare birthday

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 17:35:06-05
Presidential elections aren't the only things that cause drama every for years.
"My friends always say, 'Hey I forgot your birthday' because it doesn't automatically repopulate in a lot of those Facebook-type devices," said Traci Day, celebrating a rare birthday this February 29.
The Leapling, or Leaping, as people born on Leap Day are sometimes known, deal with the oddities that come with the calendar quirk, including the common question: When to celebrate?
"There's no set rules really. No one gives you a handbook when you're born on the 29th and says on those other three years, celebrate on this date," said Travis Horn, 44, who is celebrating just his 11th birthday today.
Horn said he chooses to celebrate on the 28th because since he was born in February he likes to celebrate in February, instead of March 1
Still, he says it's usually a low-key affair on the off-years.
"Yeah the fourth years are kind of special, the other years are kind of, meh, here's your cake," said Horn with a grin.
Horn, a marketing professional who works for S3 Media in Ybor City, even made a Facebook page to try to connect with people also born on that day.
But Horn says he usually just meets them by chance.
"For instance, the email I got about this luncheon was just by chance, and the sender happened to be a leap year baby," explains Horn. "And when I said it was my birthday, and she said it was her birthday, it was like touchdown, there's another one!"
In this case, he's talking about Traci Day, who organized a "Leap Day Lunch" for her clients of Hampton Inn & Suites in Ybor.
"We have an extra day to be grateful for our clients," Day said.
The likelihood of being born on Feb. 29 is just 1 in 1,461.
There's an estimated 226,000 Americans with a Leap Day birthday.
Leap years exist because each year is actually a little bit longer than 365 days, so Americans make up for it with the occasional extra day.