Groundhog Day is an interesting tradition. Dating back to the February of 1887, Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania has been home to the ceremony. A local newspaper editor, Clymer Freas convinced a local coalition known as the Punxsatawney Groundhog Club to begin the tradition as a local event for the people of Punxsatwaney. Now this event draws tens of thousands of people every year, and is covered by news stations nationally.
The old tradition goes: if Punxsatawney Phil, resident groundhog, sees his shadow, six more long weeks of winter will follow. On the other hand, no shadow spells an early spring. February 3rd, 2018 was the 131st annual Groundhog Day celebration. As the Inner Circle presided over the event in Punxsatawney in old Pennsylvania Dutch, Punxsatawney Phil disappointed Americans everywhere by catching a peep of his shadow. The Pennsylvania groundhog served his duty, and after drinking some famous “groundhog punch”, will be ready to do it again next year.
Many states have their own local Groundhog Day celebrations as well, such as New York’s Staten Island Chuck. None is dearer to the hearts of Georgia residents than Jackson, Georgia’s own General Beauregard Lee or affectionately “Beau”. Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator boasts 94% accuracy. The cheers of “Go, Beau!” rang through the crowd for the 38th annual Groundhog Day event in Jackson. As southern as it gets, Beau was coaxed out of his slumber per tradition: with scattered, smothered, and covered hashbrowns from Waffle House. Many had high hopes that Beau would contradict his Pennsylvania counterpart for an early spring prediction, but unfortunately General Beauregard Lee and Punxsatawney Phil were in agreement about the long winter ahead.
Early Friday morning, a Tweet was sent out from Beau’s account stating, ”But when I exited my house, what did I see? I saw a shadow of you and a shadow of me! I am sorry folks, but old man winter prevails! Happy Groundhog Day! Yours truly, Beau” You can follow Beau on Twitter at twitter.com /gameranch.
Looks like it’s another six weeks of winter for Georgia, so bundle up, and hope that Beau and Phil will predict an early spring for 2019.
The author of this article can be reached via email at rhenderson@ troupcountynews. net