Editor's note: This annual post is updated for the 2020 season.
Local groundhogs Sir Walter Wally and Snerd are gearing up for their day in the spotlight this weekend. 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 Sunday 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 events:
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' Groundhog Day event
is noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2. The shadow ceremony, starring Sir Walter Wally, starts at 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 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, including Snerd's weather prediction at 3 p.m. 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, Feb. 1, to Sunday, Feb. 2. 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."