Wiarton Willie is a celebrity in our part of Ontario. Since 1956, an albino groundhog, from the town of Wiarton, has been predicting whether spring will come early to the area. If the groundhog sees his shadow, then there is six more weeks of winter but if the day is cloudy, he predicts an early spring. In this part of the snow belt, we are thankful if all we have left of winter is six more weeks.
Wiarton Willie lives outside the Wiarton Public Library. On the morning of the 2nd of February, his handlers wake him up to make his prediction. The festival creates much excitement with people coming from a distance. The prediction ceremony is only a small part of the festival that runs for 10 days. Although Wiarton is only about a half hour drive, I have never attended the festivities. Instead, I turn on the radio to hear his prediction. Unfortunately, the radio went blank for those few moments and I had to rely on the Internet to get the news.
At 8:07 a.m. Wiarton Willie through his handler, announced that we'd have an early spring. Yea!
Now Wiarton Willie is not the only groundhog that gives a pronouncement concerning the arrival of spring. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring. The sun was shining in Pennsylvania so Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow when awakened from his sleep by his handlers.