WV’s Groundhog Day celebration canceled, French Creek Freddie to continue with duties

West Virginia

FRENCH CREEK, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Groundhog Day celebration, an annual event that draws visitors to the state Wildlife Center in Upshur County, has been canceled this year to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 virus, the state Division of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

But don’t worry, French Creek Freddie will still perform his duties. If you want to find out if Freddie predicts an early spring or more winter, the results will be posted by noon on Feb. 2, DNR officials said.

According to tradition, an early spring can be expected if Freddie doesn’t see his shadow, which is a result of overcast skies on Groundhog Day. If it is sunny, Freddie will see his shadow and return to his burrow for six more weeks of winter.

While the Groundhog Day celebration is canceled this year, the West Virginia Wildlife Center remains open to visitors seven days a week. From Nov. 1 to March 31, hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free during this period.

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The state Wildlife Center is home to French Creek Freddie and nearly 30 different native and introduced animal species.

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