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Sir Walter Wally makes official weather prediction Saturday, February 2 at the Museum

For immediate release—January 28, 2013
Education, Entertainment, Features editors
Contact: emelia.cowans@naturalsciences.org, 919.707.9837

Mayor Pro Tem Eugene Weeks to be official “Groundhog Whisperer”

RALEIGH — Weather in North Carolina is certainly unpredictable. The last few weeks have proved that to be true, but Sir Walter Wally is almost always right! Come join us at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the 16th annual Groundhog Day celebration, Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. The shadow ceremony begins promptly at noon on Bicentennial plaza in front of the Museum, rain or shine. Mayor Pro Tem Eugene Weeks will debut as the “Groundhog Whisperer” this year. We’ll also have a new officiant outfitted in top hat and tails to assist Wally with the forecast, Executive Director of External Affairs Mark D. Johnson.

Each year crowds wait in anticipation to see if Wally sees his shadow. If he does, we're in for six more weeks of winter. Although not as well-known nationally as Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania, Wally has gained nationwide recognition for his amazing accuracy and is regularly featured on The Weather Channel's list of national representatives. Before and after the ceremony, Wally will be at his special station where those with cameras can pose for pictures alongside the famous weather predictor. 

Visitors can also take advantage of educational stations on the first floor of the Museum, including Animal Hibernation, Signs of Spring, the History of Groundhog Day and more, as well as presentations, fun games, and activities including the Hog Toss. For kids six and under, Animals in Winter will be presented at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. in the Windows on the World Theater on the Museum’s third floor (main building).

Students and teachers across North Carolina will also be keeping a close eye on Wally’s prediction. Anyone can download a free Groundhog Day Kit from http://naturalsciences.org/education/learning-resources/groundhog-day, which includes a Weather Watch Activity Guide for grades K-8. For more information about Groundhog Day, contact Miranda Wood at miranda.wood@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9885.

Publish Date: 
Monday, January 28, 2013