Editor's Note: This story had been updated to include comments from Slumbering Groundhog Lodge officials.
In 2021, Octoraro Orphie will not be predicting whether spring will come early.
Quarryville's yearly Groundhog Day celebration, held at the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from the organization.
"While we are disappointed that we won’t be gathering along the banks of the Octorara Creek this year, we look forward to welcoming our members and valued guests to the 114th observance in February of 2022,” said Rick Rankin, Chairman of the Board of Hibernating Governors of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of Quarryville in a press release.
William Forrey, a spokesperson for the Lodge, noted that the event held every Feb. 2 typically brings in several hundred spectators, the safety of whom could not be guaranteed.
All other events at the Lodge have also been canceled due to the pandemic, Forrey said.
“We’ve taken it very seriously,” he said. “We have a lot of older members.”
The decision to cancel the event, which would have been the 113th edition of the annual celebration, was decided unanimously by Lodge board members last month. Rankin said alternative options, such as hosting the event through a digital livestream, were also ruled out in deference to tradition.
Since 1908 the annual celebration has been canceled just once before in 1943 due to the ongoing Second World War.
Rankin said event planners will be raising the bar for next year’s event to make up for the cancelation, though no specific ideas have been outlined.
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Day celebration will be held virtually this year. More information can be found here.