Shubenacadie Sam Prepared for His Close-Up

Department of Natural Resources

January 26, 2012 10:57 AM

Nova Scotia elementary school students will enjoy a visit with Shubenacadie Sam, the province's famous groundhog, on Groundhog Day, Thursday, Feb 2.

Sam will be encouraged to appear from his shelter at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, at 8 a.m., as part of the traditional ceremony that celebrates the folklore that a groundhog's behaviour on that day indicates how long winter will last.

"This fun, family event is a great mid-winter activity and an opportunity to see some Nova Scotia wildlife up close," said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources.

The ceremony will feature a proclamation by a town crier, a bagpiper, refreshments and a photo opportunity with Sam.

If the groundhog sees his shadow and hurries back into his home, according to tradition, Nova Scotia will see six more weeks of winter. If it stays outside, folklore says spring is on the way. Because of our time zone, Shubenacadie Sam is the first groundhog in North America to make the weather prediction each year.

Germans first used hedgehogs to predict if 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. Shubenacadie Sam will help Ducks Unlimited Canada promote the day's festivities, including activities at the Greenwing Legacy Interpretation Centre at the park and on the park's grounds.

Entrance into the park is free. Gates open at 7 a.m. and activities go until noon, including a guided nature walk at 8:30 a.m., free coffee and hot chocolate, face painting, and an opportunity to make a frog flip book.

Directions to the park are at http://wildlifepark.gov.ns.ca/park/info.html#location .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Elementary school students will enjoy a visit with

Nova Scotia's famous groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, makes his

appearance on Groundhog Day, Thursday (February 2nd).

     Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker says it's an

annual fun, family event at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.

     A bagpiper, town crier and a crowd of fans will be on hand

to see if Sam sees his shadow.

     Folklore says if Sam sees his shadow and is scared back into

his home, the winter lasts six more weeks. If he does not see it,

spring is soon to follow.

     The Groundhog Day activities will include a nature walk,

face painting and craft-making, and free refreshments.

     The Wildlife Park opens at 7 a.m.

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Media Contact: Bruce Nunn
              Natural Resources
              902-424-5239
              Cell: 902-476-6454
              E-mail: nunnbx@gov.ns.ca