The shadow knows
Groundhog Day festivities planned throughout county BY BRIAN WALLACE, Staff Writer
For folks who rely on furry creatures to forecast their weather, this Saturday will be groundhog heaven.
No less than three Lancaster County whistle pigs -- Orphie, Minnie and Cal -- will predict what Mother Nature has in store for us: six more weeks of winter or an early spring.
According to tradition, groundhogs emerge from their burrows every Feb. 2 and gaze at the ground. If it's cloudy and the groundhog doesn't see his shadow, that means an early end to winter weather. If it's sunny and the marmot sees its shadow, we're in for six more weeks of the cold, snowy stuff.
Human forecasters are calling for a mixture of clouds and sun Saturday, so the predictions could go either way.
While Punxsutawney has its Phil, Lancaster County will look to Octorara Orphie, Cocalico Cal and Mount Joy Minnie for prognosticating duties.
Here's what's planned for Groundhog Day:
n Mount Joy Minnie will make her prediction at 7:15 a.m. at the Rotary clock at Main Street and Marietta Avenue, Mount Joy. The ceremony will be moved to the Prudential canopy if it rains.
Hot chocolate, doughnuts and coffee will be provided to attendees.
n The Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of Quarryville will hosts its 105th Groundhog Day observance beginning at 8:15 a.m. at the lodge on White Rock Road.
In addition to Octorara Orphie's prediction, the event will include a parade, the dunking of a lodge member into Octorara Creek, a canon firing, Groundhog Jig dancing and other shenanigans.
Coffee and doughnuts will be available.
n Cocalico Cal will be the featured attraction of the 11th annual Groundhog Pageant scheduled for 9 a.m. in Ephrata Park, Ephrata. Sponsored by the Lincoln Lodge of the Maximus Marmot, the event will feature a "humorous skit," followed by Cal's prediction and the dunking of lodge members in Cocalico Creek.
Coffee and doughnuts will be available. Participants may bring nonperishable food donations for the Ephrata Area Social Services Food Bank.
n Valentino's Cafe, 132 Rider Ave., will host its fifth annual Groundhog Day Parade beginning at 1 p.m. A prize will be awarded for the best-costumed participant.