Shubenacadie Sam to Make Annual Weather Prediction

Department of Natural Resources

January 28, 2010 9:15 AM

Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia's weather-predicting groundhog, will host his annual party at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The province's time zone allows Sam to be the first groundhog to make a prediction in North America each year. According to tradition, if Sam sees his shadow on Groundhog Day and runs back into his burrow, Nova Scotia is set for six more weeks of winter. If he stays out, spring is just around the corner.

"Once again, Shubenacadie Sam will be put to the test to give us our annual prediction," said Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell. "We as Nova Scotians are always excited to be in the spotlight as our Sam gives the first prediction of the day in North America."

A bag piper and town crier will try to herald Sam out of his house for the prediction at 8 a.m. AST. The Greenwing Legacy Interpretive Centre at the wildlife park will be open at 7:30 a.m., where there will be face painting and crafts.

Groundhog Day is a North American tradition that has its roots in the Candlemas celebrations of Europe. Germans first used hedgehogs to predict whether they would have six more weeks of winter or an early spring. German settlers brought the tradition to Pennsylvania in the 18th Century and began to use groundhogs instead of hedgehogs.

Feb. 2 is also World Wetlands Day. As a nature lover, Shubenacadie Sam will help Ducks Unlimited Canada promote the stewardship of natural areas as part of the day's festivities.

All activities are free to the public and run until noon.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Shubenacadie Sam, the provincial wildlife park's famed

groundhog, will make his annual appearance on Tuesday (February

2nd) at 8 A-M.

     He will be the first groundhog in North America to predict

whether there will be six more weeks of winter this year or an

early spring.

     Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell says Nova Scotians

are always excited to be in the spotlight as our Sam gives the

first prediction of the day in North American.

     All activities are free to the public, starting at 7:30 A-M

and running until noon.

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Media Contact: Jacqueline Parker
              Natural Resources
              902-424-8282
              E-mail:parkerj@gov.ns.ca