Will spring come early? 4 Groundhog Day events in Raleigh, Garner this weekend

February 2, 2019
Sir Walter Wally predicts six more weeks of winter

Editor’s note: This annual post is updated for the 2019 season.

Local groundhogs Sir Walter Wally and Snerd are gearing up for their day in the spotlight this weekend. And after this week’s freezing temperatures, here’s hoping they forecast an early spring!

The two will be on display for annual Groundhog Day celebrations at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and White Deer Park Nature Center in Garner. And because Feb. 2 falls on a Saturday this year, more families will get to enjoy these annual Groundhog Day events.

Watch groundhogs make their decrees (or just learn a little bit more about the animals) at these four weekend events:

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ Groundhog Day event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2. The shadow ceremony, starring Sir Walter Wally, starts around noon. But the day holds many other activities, including displays about the history of Groundhog Day, animal architects, how animals survive in the winter and signs of spring.

White Deer Park Nature Center will have special activities from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, including Snerd’s weather prediction at noon. The event also includes crafts, games, educational booths and more.

Historic Yates Mill Park in Wake County has a special drop-in program from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wizened Woodchucks & Weather Predictors explores how people predicted the weather before The Weather Channel and whether animals can really help. No registration is needed for this free event. In the visitor center, park guests can check out at-home weather equipment they can make and test colonial “weather proverbs.”

And after the big day, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh will host Go Go Groundhog, a free drop-in family program that will celebrate all things groundhog. Visitors can learn about hibernation, take a walk through the prairie and more. Prairie Ridge is the natural sciences museum’s outdoor learning lab.

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