PUNXSUTAWNEY – It has been a long time coming, but officials have finally bowed to public pressure and moved the date of Groundhog Day one month later to more accurately reflect the length of winter. The tradition holds that on a designated day the groundhog will emerge from its hole and either become frightened of its shadow and run away, or see no shadow due to cloud cover and commence its usual morning routine. This is how we can tell if there will be six more weeks of winter, or if we will have an early spring.
With the old date of February 2nd, winter was often slated to end as early as March 1st, but certainly no later than March 15th, and due to inflation this is no longer accurate. Protests and petitions over the years have done little to move the stubborn date, but the people have finally been heard and the new date has been set as March 2nd.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said one former protester. “It’s not going to take us where we need to be, but it’s a start. With a date of March 2nd, that’s going to put the end of winter somewhere between March 30th and April 13th. It’s a huge improvement. But we’re well past April 13th right now, and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow, so you can see that we still have a lot of work to do. But today, we celebrate. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
The next Groundhog Day will take place on March 2, 2019.