Sir Walter Wally accepts Groundhog Day challenge at Museum of Natural Sciences, Feb.2

For immediate release ‐ January 26, 2018

Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request

Sir Walter Wally at Groundhog Day 2015.

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Twelve inches of snow one week, sunny and 70 degrees the next. What’s a groundhog to do? Find out when Sir Walter Raleigh makes his annual Groundhog Day appearance at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The free event is held Friday, February 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a shadow ceremony beginning promptly at noon just outside the Museum’s front entrance. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will join Museum educator Chris Smith to assist Wally with the forecast.

Each year crowds wait in nervous anticipation to see if Wally sees his shadow. If he does, we’re in for six more weeks of winter! In recent years Wally has been gaining national recognition with his amazing accuracy, and is regularly featured on The Weather Channel’s list of national groundhog representatives. Before and after the ceremony, Wally relaxes at his selfie station where those with cameras can pose for pictures alongside the famous weather predictor.

Visitors also can peruse educational stations on the first floor of the Museum. There will be information on Animals in Winter, Signs of Spring, the History of Groundhog Day and more, as well as fun games and activities including the Groundhog Toss and making your own groundhog headbands. For kids six and under there will be special programs about Animals in Winter at 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. in the Windows on the World theater on the third floor.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director. For more information, visit

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