Will Okanagan Okie see his shadow on Groundhog Day? The valley’s furriest weather forecaster will soon give his answer at Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre.
The centre is bringing the classic Ground Hog Day celebration to the Okanagan with Okie the marmot set to emerge from his burrow at 10 a.m. on Feb. 2. As the old tradition goes, if he emerges and sees his shadow, winter will continue for another six weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, we’ll all enjoy an early spring.
Manager Cheryl Hood says that while the 1993 Bill Murray movie of the same name has forever immortalized Groundhog Day, there is no record of Groundhog Day celebrations taking place in B.C.
“Its time for new traditions and celebrations now more than ever before, and ABNC is eager to showcase one of our local furry friends, Okanagan Okie the yellow-bellied marmot.”
Okie is a marmot, but did you know that groundhogs are a type of marmot? Groundhogs and marmots hibernate in the winter, so they’re not usually seen until March or April. But Okie will nonetheless be ready to make his proclamation in early February.
The inaugural Groundhog Day Celebration on Feb. 2 will be followed by a bonfire and a hot chocolate after Okie makes his prediction.