Groundhog Day on February 2nd

This is a short introduction to Groundhog Day.

The story originated in 1956 when a resident from Wiarton named Mac McKenzie wanted to show his childhood home to his friends. A Toronto Star reporter heard about the news and showed up at the showcase. Nevertheless, there was no festival and the reporter complained that he must come up with some kind of story. Therefore, McKenzie took his wife’s fur hat which had a large button on the front, went out to the parking lot, dug a burrow in the snow and pronounced a prognostication which no one remembered. The photograph of McKenzie and the hat was published on February 3rd 1956 edition of the Toronto Star.

A year later, 50 people appeared at the same event. Half of them were reporters from various media. For the purpose, during the years later, McKenzie invented a festival that has been added to the celebration.

The oiginal Wiarton Willie, who appeared on the scene in the 1980s, lived up to the age of 22 and was found dead two days before Grounhog Day in 1999. Not being able to find a replacement, organizers instead marked Groundhog Day just by revealing Willie in a coffin. He had been dressed in a tuxedo with coins over his eyes and a carrot between the paws.

The scandal followed after revealing that the real Willie had decomposed and the body in the coffin was of an older, stuffeed groundhog. Many groundhogs have been replaced and usually named Wee Willie, or Wee Willie 2 etc.

This year, Groundhog Day will once again be celebrated on February 2nd and it will continue the saga of Wiarton Willie.

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