An early Spring predicted as Groundhog Day goes virtual for 2021

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Wiarton Willie, Ontario’s famous albino groundhog, woke this morning to deliver his prediction of an early Spring in this 65th year of the tradition, albeit virtually. “It’s an early spring,” announced South Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson after throwing a fur hat into the air, a move they said hearkens back to the tradition’s first edition more than 60 years ago.

Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia was the first to deliver his prediction of an early Spring this morning after reluctantly emerging from his shelter during stormy conditions, failing to see his shadow.

In Val d’Espoir on Quebec’s Gaspe peninsula, Fred La Marmotte was also reluctant to step out from his miniature cabin, finally whispering in his handler’s ear that no shadow was observed, with an early Spring prediction.

Meanwhile across the border in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil somehow gave a prediction of six more weeks of Winter, after somehow seeing his shadow amidst stormy overcast conditions. Many in the area are taking to social media to question the validity of his prediction, even suggesting his shadow was the result of artificial lighting used at the event.