French Creek Freddie makes 43rd annual Groundhog Day prediction

Published: Feb. 2, 2020 at 6:38 PM EST
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Over 400 people gathered in Upshur County to see what French Creek Freddie would predict during the 43rd Annual Groundhog Day celebration.

With no shadow in sight, he predicted an early spring.

"I'm pretty sure majority of the crowd is happy about that," wildlife biologist, Tyler Evans said.

If he did see his shadow, winter would've lasted for another six weeks.

The celebration at the WV Wildlife Center became a tradition that began in 1978.

"In 1978, our then superintendent, Bill Vanscoy, got a phone call from somebody on the AP line and they wanted to know if we had a groundhog," Judy Channell, the secretary for the WV Wildlife Center said.

That's when the event took off and continued to attract more and more people each year.

"We get to offer our most famous groundhog in West Virginia," Evans said.

Groundhog Day is celebrated in the middle of the winter solstice and spring equinox.

The prediction made on Feb. 2 usually depends on the weather that day, and according to Evans, French Creek Freddie has been right about 60 percent of the time since he's been making predictions.

Regardless if he's right or wrong about an early spring arriving, people still enjoy coming out and finding out the outcome.

"It's not just a local, community event anymore, now people are coming from California, they're coming from all over, so we're just really happy that it's turned into what its turned into over the years," Evans said.