Groundhog Impostors!

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This cartoon appeared in The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper

on February 2, 1930, to mock Quarryville's impostor groundhog.


This may be hard to believe, but there are actually other groundhogs who are trying to grab their share of fame on February 2.  But there is only one true, reliable weather prophet: Punxsutawney Phil.  So we are publicizing the names of some of these impostors to alert you that you should take their forecasts with a grain of salt: 

·    Arkla-homa Will – Arkansas

·    Balzac Billie - Balzac, Alberta

·    Birmingham Bill - Birmingham, Alabama

Bill, the groundhog, lives at the Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, Alabama. He makes his annual weather-predicting appearance at 10 am on Saturday, February 2 - His appearance is later than everyone else's, but he is a Southern Groundhog, after all... sleeps in late and parties late!!!

·    Buckeye Chuck - Marion, Ohio

A February tradition for many years, the Ohio General Assembly declared 'Buckeye Chuck' from Marion, OH, the State Groundhog in 1979.

·    Chester from St. Louis

Chester, the official weather prognosticating groundhog for the St. Louis Zoo, is known for his accurate predictions.

·    Chilly Charlie - Woodstock, Ontario

Woodstock, Ontario, Canada had its first Groundhog Day in 2003 at South Gate Centre, a meeting place for adults 55+. Woodstock's  groundhog is a puppet named Chilly Charlie.

·    Chuck Wood - Stickney, Illinois              

Chuck is The Committee for the Commercialization of Groundhog Day's official mascot. Although he doesn't exist outside their Website and merchandise, he still would like to offer his prediction for the Chicagoland area.

 ·    Claude the Crawfish

Louisiana gets into the action with its very own weather-prognosticating crawfish?

·    Cloudy - Brookfield, Illinois

Children’s Zoo is home to Cloudy, the annual participant in the Groundhog Day celebration at Brookfield Zoo. Cloudy now has some new company: a recently acquired groundhog named... Sunny.

·    Connecticut Chuckles - Manchester, Connecticut

Chuckles resides at the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester Connecticut. He is a local celebrity and takes his job predicting the weather very seriously.

·    Dixie Dan - Tupelo, Mississippi

Dixie Dan, Jr. is a miniature groundhog and is really a hit with the children who come to Rainbow Farm. Folks there are trying to get the legislature to name him the official ground hog for Mississippi.

·    Dunkirk Dave - Dunkirk, New York

·    Essex Ed - Essex, CT

·    Florham Park Phil - Florham Park, NJ

·    Florida Phyllis - Apopka, Florida

Phyllis is a Florida Groundhog... she sees things a little differently. And since she lives in Florida, she said " I can't waste that sun! I need a tan after all that hibernation stuff. Let those northern Groundhogs do what they must. I've got places to go and things to see. First thing is to head down to Tom and Joani's veggie garden for a little snack.. then it's off to the beach. This weekend it's off to Disney World to see a few of my friends! Florida's a great place to be a groundhog!”

·    French Creek Freddy - French Creek, West Virginia

Freddy, who makes his home at the West Virginia Wildlife Center, has predicted West Virginia weather for about 25 years.

·    Furby the Wonder Chicken - Vancouver, British Columbia

From Ground Chicken Central in Vancouver BC Canada, Furby took on the equal opportunity title of "Official Ground Chicken."

·    General Beauregard Lee – Liburn (suburban Atlanta), Georgia

Gen. Beau Lee, Ph.D., Georgia’s "As Real As It Gets" Groundhog, is expected to emerge from the swinging door of His Official Mansion on February 2nd, National Groundhog Day.

·    Holland Huckleberry - Holland, Ohio

Holland Huckleberry's favorite food is peanut butter on toast for breakfast with the rest of the family with whom he lives. He also enjoys red clover blossoms, lambs quarters, salted peanuts in the shell, potato chips and sweetened iced tea.

·    J.B. (short for Just Because) - Holland Township, NJ

J.B. is served by the Eastern Extension of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge; the original Slumbering Groundhog Lodge, Lancaster, PA, was founded in 1908.

·    Jimmy the Groundhog - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Jimmy hails from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, the true Groundhog Capital of the World according to the natives.

·    Lander Lil - Lander, Wyoming

Lander Lil is back! After her unfortunate kidnapping, community-wide efforts were made to retrieve her.  Lander Lil is back home in her burrow near the Lander Post Office, and is expected to predict the weather for a long time to come.

·    Malverne Mel

As if New York didn't already have enough weather-predicting groundhogs, Malverne Mel began his prognosticating career in Long Island in 1996.

·    Metompkin Max - Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia

Max is the nephew of the famed forecaster of southeastern Pennsylvania, Octoraro Orphie (who is listed below). Both are of the Marmotus rex clan, noted forecasters and general shunners of publicity.

·    Mr. Prozac - Oxford, Michigan

Noah John, Oxford’s beloved one-eyed weather prognosticating groundhog passed away on April 22, 2002 as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident in 1998. Before Noah John died, he met several times with his llama friend Mr. Prozac and instructed Zac in the art of weather prognosticating.

·    Octarara Orphie - Quarryville, Pennsylvania

Punxsutawney Phil's neighborly rival, Octarara Orphie, is claimed in Lancaster County, PA as the king of the whistle pig prognosticators.  Groundhog Sighting Squads are dispatched to observe and consult with live groundhogs in the woods. They report back to the Chateau at White Rock Lodge located along the banks of the Octorara Creek in Eastern PA.

·    Peewee, the Woodchuck - Mile Square Farm, Vermont

The newest weather predicting groundhog on the block, in Vermont's Green Mountains.

·    Pennichuck Chuck - Hollis, New Hampshire

Pennichuck Chuck, the Granite State’s own groundhog, has discovered a new method of predicting the weather. This discovery will enhance New Hampshire’s reputation as a state of innovators.

·    Petaluma Pete - Petaluma, California

 To show that Petaluma Pete is up to his unusual forecasts, he will be giving golf lessons to Bill Murray just a little south of Petaluma at Pebble Beach.

·    Pierre C. Shadeaux - New Iberia, Louisiana

Those who are familiar with the history of the local Cajun Groundhog will recall how Pierre considers himself much more civilized than some of the other weather predicting animals, especially that Yankee groundhog up in Pennsylvania. That's why Pierre usually makes his prediction after 8 a.m. on Groundhog Day, while others get out at sunrise to make their predictions.

·    Pothole Pete – New York, New York

·    Ridge Lea Larry - Buffalo, New York

Larry is a stuffed Groundhog who represents the Geology Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

·    Shubenacadie Sam - Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia

The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park's local meteorologist in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the first groundhog to make a prediction every February 2 in Canada!

·    Sir Walter Wally - Raleigh, North Carolina

Sir Walter Wally and Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences invite you to participate in their annual statewide celebration of Groundhog Day.

·    Spike - Duluth, Minnesota

Okay, he's not really a groundhog, but if we can have Llamas and Chickens standing in, certainly a porcupine (a.k.a. a Groundhog with a perpetual bad hair day) is welcome.

·    Staten Island Chuck - Staten Island, New York

Does every "burrow" of New York City have its own groundhog? We're not sure, but we do know that Staten Island is proud of Chuck, who has an accuracy rating of 84 percent! Staten Island Chuck's handler has noticed some whisker twitching and believes that it is because he is getting anxious. 02-02-02 was a special day for Chuck because he completed his 20th year of weather-forecasting.

·    Tennessee Groundhog - Silver Point, Tennessee

UPCHUCK, INC. is an organization dedicated to the commercialization of Groundhog Day in Silver Point, Tennessee. They were founded in 1979. The work's been slow but sure and they press on, tired of that Phil guy. "He's okay for those with the same latitude and longitude as him, but for the rest of us, he is actually quite useless," Tennessee says.

·    Two Rivers Tunnel - Two Rivers, Nova Scotia

Groundhog Day is a special event at Two Rivers Wildlife Park. This is when Two Rivers Tunnel comes out to give his forecast on the remaining winter. He's never been wrong. On Groundhog Day the community hosts fieldtrips for school kids and provide many activities for all visitors.

·    Unadilla Bill - Unadilla, Nebraska

In January 1988, the Lt. Governor signed a proclamation declaring Unadilla "Groundhog Capital of Nebraska." It is celebrated with a Wild Game fee, and (weather permitting) a parade.

·    The Virtual Groundhog - Bonn, Germany

·    Wiarton Willie - Wee WillieWiarton, South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

Wee Willie, the newest Ottawa groundhog to take on the Wiarton Willie name, is probably Punxsutawney Phil's most famous competition.

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