Will Sir Walter Wally See His Shadow?

A woman holding Sir Walter Wally the groundhog

The first official Groundhog Day dates back to Feb. 2,1887. The event took place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and this tradition originates from ancient European beliefs. However, instead of a groundhog they used a badger or sacred bear to foresee the weather.
According to popular legend, if the groundhog comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow, he returns to his hole, meaning he predicts that there will be six more weeks of winter. However, if the day is cloudy and the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, that’s a sign of spring and the animal stays above ground ending its hibernation period.
On Thursday, Feb. 2 make your way to downtown Raleigh and meet Sir Walter Wally, the local groundhog, to get his weather prediction for the next six weeks. The Shadow Ceremony takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Bicentennial Plaza, right in front of the Museum of Natural Sciences. Nancy McFarlane, Mayor of Raleigh, will play the role of the “Groundhog Whisperer.”
Everyone will have the opportunity to get close and personal with one of the Weather Channel’s “Groundhogs to Watch” in 2017, and there will be many opportunities to learn about the significance of wildlife sanctuaries. There will as well be different exhibits including: Groundhog Toss Game, Animal Architects, Signs of Spring and more.
Even students at William Peace University are predicting what Sir Walter Wally will see this Thursday.
“I predict Sir Walter Wally will see his shadow,” says senior Olivia Egbert.
For more information, visit naturalsciences.org/calendar/event/groundhog-day.

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