View Poll Results: If the groundhog sees his shadow, this means

Voters
7. You may not vote on this poll
  • Winter is about over.

    0 0%
  • I sure loved that movie with Bill Murray.

    3 42.86%
  • There will be six more weeks of winter.

    2 28.57%
  • I should have bought Mobil stock.

    3 42.86%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Attention All Road Warriors and Ships at Sea

    This February 2, we observe Imbolc, a pagan celebration, and Candlemas, a Christian one. Most of you just call it Groundhog Day.

    We had a discussion on winter solstice a while back. Now, we need to discuss the forthcoming day, February 2, better known as Groundhog Day. Will the groundhog see his shadow or not? That is the question on everybody's mind. If he sees it, does that mean there will be six more weeks of winter or, is it over?

    This past Sunday, Chicago's Daily Herald ran a very informative article by Diana Dretske. Here is a short synopsis of it.

    February 2nd is six weeks away from the spring equinox. Imbolc was the original name for it and it comes from a pagan ritual celebrating the forthcoming gestation of seeds. It became christianized in the 300s AD as Candlemas, the purification of Mary after Jesus' birth, set at 40 days afterwards.

    In Europe, badgers and bears were used to predict spring's arrival. This is about the time when hibernating animals start stirring. The earliest-known groundhog observance was in Pennsylvania in 1841.

    The most famous one, of course, is Punxsutawney Phil, in Pennsylvania. He is also the "official US groundhog". Here in Illinois, we have Woodstock Willie. Other prognosticating hogs are Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, General Beauregard Lee (I like that name) in Georgia, and Balzac Billy in Alberta, Canada.

    I couldn't get a direct link, but you can go to

    http://www.dailyherald.com and go to the 7 day story search and type in groundhog day for the article. I don't know if the article will still be available on line after this week, so check it out.

    Perhaps, our road warriors who plan to be out there in the next six weeks might want to be apprised of the forecasts.

    Diana Dretske is coordinator of the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois. If any of you are into postcards, they have probably the biggest collection anywhere in the US with the Curt Teich Archives.

    Perhaps some of you can reply with whether or not your local groundhog saw his/her shadow. Please give names and where they're located.

    Also, check out the Groundhog Day in Woodstock, Illinois thread. The celebration is this week and weekend.

    By the way, if you're wondering about what happens if the groundhog sees his shadow, the answer is, we have six more weeks of winter.

    Will the RoadDog see His Shadow? Only the Two Lane Highway Knows.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Conflicted

    The scientist in me wants to know what happens if they all disagree, or if anyone has kept records on their prognostication ability. The traveler and historian in me just thinks the whole thing's a hoot, and one (several?) of those local traditions that makes seeing different people, places and things so rewarding.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-31-2006 at 09:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default we'll find out tomorrow...

    We have Wiarton Willy up here in Ontario Canada....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Wiarton Willy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Syv
    We have Wiarton Willy up here in Ontario Canada....
    That sounds like breaking news to me! We await the word breathlessly.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Punxsutawney Phil

    He saw his shadow. Six more weeks. It was cloudy here so I'm sure Woodstock Willie didn't see his shadow. That would be Woodstock, Illinois. I read also that Greensboro, NC had a guy dressed up as a groundhog pushing people to change their wiper blades.

    If the change of daylight savings time is the time to change your smoke alarm batteries, then Groundhog Day might have a new meaning.

    Any other groundhog sightings out there?

    Are groundhogs and roaddogs related?

    We'll add Wiarton Willy to the list. Thanks.

    All this groundhog stuff is just one more reason to love small town America. I agree with AZBuck.

    RoadDog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Jimmy IX from the Groundhog Capital of the World

    Jimmy the 9th of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin did not see his shadow this morning, predicting an early spring.

    Of course, the human weather forecasters say we'll likely break our record 45 day long streak of consecutive days above 30 degrees tomorrow.

    BTW, Sun Prairie declared itself the Groundhog Capital of the World in 1952 after a congressional spat with the folks in Pennsylvania. www.groundhogcentral.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Jimmy the 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    BTW, Sun Prairie declared itself the Groundhog Capital of the World in 1952 after a congressional spat with the folks in Pennsylvania.
    How is that most of us have never heard of Jimmy the 9th? Kinda of a cute lil' fella, but I don't think I would let a critter like that get that close to my face!

    Thanks for the breaking news!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default Wiarton Willy

    ...saw his shadow !


    Sylvia

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Groundhog Day Celebration in Woodstock, Illinois Pt.1

    On Wednesday, Feb. 1, my wife and I went to Woodstock for the official kickoff of Groundhog Days, the lighting of the Groundhog. Now, before some of you go ballistic, no groundhogs were injured in the event.

    Actually, the first event had occurred on the previous Sunday, when the local Moose Lodge hosted their annual pancake breakfast. The Moose Lodge was the site where the Groundhog Dance was held in the movie, where Rita learned that Phil (Bill Murray) could play the piano and where she successfully bid on him, and poor Larry went for two bits at the man auction.

    We planned to eat at the newly opened Tip Top Bistro, which is the same building where so much of the film took place, the Tip Top Cafe. This is where they had the memorable scene of Phil stuffing his face. I had thought they hadn't kept the whole name because of possible legalities, but later found out they took the Bistro name to show that they had a really high quality of food. They have an executive chef. It doesn't look anything like the one in the movie with white tablecloths and a large wait staff.

    We checked out the menu posted outside and decided our budget could best afford a luncheon there in the future. We walked across the square to Angelo's Family Restaurant, which I learned, had originally been chosen to be the site of the cafe.

    The square and surrounding brick streets date back to the 1850s. Woodstock should be visited even without the movie. The original McHenry County Courthouse and jail (where Phil and his drinking buddies from the bowling alley were incarcerated) and city hall ,now called the Woodstock Opera House (where the Pennsylvanian Hotel was in the movie), both front the square.

    My first experience with Woodstock came back in 1969, when I had just graduated from Palatine High School. I heard that my favorite group of all-time, Creedence Clearwater Revival, was supposed to be playing at a huge concert in Woodstock. I took a ride up there, but, for some reason, was unable to find it.

    There were several patrons at Angelo's with Groundhog flyers and most were discussing what to expect. No one was quite sure what lighting the groundhog could mean. Did they actually set fire to the poor creature or just shine a light on him? We walked across the street to the Opera House and the Stage Left Cafe next to it. We all exited the building and crossed over to the square to view the event where several hundred persons had gathered.

    At 7 PM sharp, we had a couple organizers welcome us and thank the sponsors. We were urged to coax Woodstock Willie to appear on the second floor balcony of the Opera House. He stood up and waved and at that moment, pyrotechnics went off on either side of him and along the front of the balcony. Several fireworks went up and nicely framed the famous tower where Phil committed one of his suicides when he jumped from the huge oval opening. This was impressive, but very short in duration.

    Obviously, Woodstock Willie was not a real groundhog. Afterwards, he came down and posed for pictures.

    Afterwards, we went back to the Stage Left Cafe where I bought a $5 coffe mug of Willie. They had several groups of kids who vied for Groundhog items by answering questions about the movie, some of which were quite hard. I was surprised how well they did. A director's cut of the movie was then shown.

    I'll tell more about Saturday's events when we saw the movie on the big screen, experienced the chili cookoff, and almost froze on the site tour, on part two.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway and Don't Let the Groundhogs or RoadDogs, for that Matter, bite. -- RoadDog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Hysterical report!

    Thanks, Road Hog. I love it. Sounds like a great festival.

    My first experience with Woodstock came back in 1969, when I had just graduated from Palatine High School. I heard that my favorite group of all-time, Creedence Clearwater Revival, was supposed to be playing at a huge concert in Woodstock. I took a ride up there, but, for some reason, was unable to find it.
    LOL!

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