Nope, it’s not the Marathon yet — Zakim to glow blue and gold for Down Syndrome

Next Friday, drivers making their way to the North Shore will see the Leonard P. Zakim Bridge awash with that brilliant blue and canary yellow with which Bostonians have become so familiar since the tragic events at last year’s Boston Marathon.

Except the Marathon is still five weeks away.

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Don’t worry, zealous Boston Strong advocates haven’t jumped the gun. This lighting is actually in honor of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, which happens to take place March 21 — exactly one month before the Marathon.

(For the record, the community of people who advocate for Down Syndrome research and awareness called dibs on those theme colors years ago.)

The day after Friday’s commemmoration on the Zakim, the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress will hold its 30th annual conference in Worcester. Organizers aren’t oblivious to similarities with the Marathon’s iconic palette; the theme of this year’s conference is champions, “based on the Boston Strong mentality of people coming together to overcome challenges,” spokesman Josh Komyerov said.

A heartening message, indeed. Runners, just don’t be confused: It’s not time to start your engines — yet.