Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the not the only place to celebrate Groundhog Day this year. If you are in New York on the first week of February, you can visit Chuck, the furry meteorologist, at the Staten Island Zoo and learn about the life expectancy of this winter.
Groundhog Day is a North American traditional holiday, celebrated each year on February 2. According to the tradition, on this day the groundhog, a cute rodent from the family of marmots, predicts the weather. If the day is cloudy and the groundhog can’t see its own shadow, it is a sign of an early spring, and if the day is sunny and the groundhog can see its shadow, it is supposed to recommence and its hibernation and the winter will continue for six more weeks.
Groundhog Day celebration became famous worldwide thanks to Bill Murray’s 1990 cult movie, and made the Punxsutawney borough of Jefferson County Pennsylvania a pilgrimage site. For those who don’t plan to rent a car and drive to Pennsylvania this year, there’s a festive, family-friendly alternative at the Staten Island Zoo in NYC.
So, on February 2, the Staten Island Zoo will be opening its gate at 6:30am, and at 7:00 the traditional ceremony begins. The local Staten Island Chuck, who boasts a higher than average accuracy rates of 80%, will step out of its burrow in front of hundreds of visitors and to the sounds Patrick and the Rock-a-Silly Band. Let’s hope Chuck will be more accurate than those who promised us a snow storm last week.