Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wiarton Willie - Will spring be here soon?

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.

For more on the Wiarton Willie Festival check out Wikipedia or the South Bruce Peninsula web site


  1. I'm going with the Canadian groundhogs, as it was a very dreary day here yesterday. Thanks for the history of Wiarton Willie. I read his prediction but wasn't really sure where he was.

  2. I didn't realize you were from the Wiarton area Janet. I spent a couple of summers in Oliphant back in my teenage years. One of my first boyfriends lived in Wiarton. I have lots of happy memories from the area!

  3. Jasia
    Yes, I live about a half hour from Wiarton. It's a small world isn't it. Our family had a cottage for many years at Sauble Beach which is just a short drive from Oliphant. For a few years our family had family reunions at Oliphant at the Women's Institute building.


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