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Groundhog Day in Nova Scotia goes virtual as a result of COVID-19

Shubenacadie Sam looks around after emerging from his burrow at the wildlife park in Shubenacadie, N.S. on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Sam failed to see his shadow and predicts an early spring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Groundhog Day in Nova Scotia is going digital this year as a result of COVID-19.

The province’s lands and forestry department says Nova Scotians are invited to watch Shubenacadie Sam make his annual prediction through a virtual broadcast on Feb. 2.

That’s when Sam will emerge from his burrow at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park with his forecast at approximately 8 a.m.

Read more: UPDATE: Shubenacadie Sam predicts an early spring in 2021

Folklore says that if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then it is a sign of an early spring.

“Groundhog Day celebrates the important role weather plays in our lives and culture,” said Derek Mombourquette, minister of lands and forestry.

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“With virtual celebrations, everyone can take part in the fun by following Shubenacadie Sam and the wildlife park on social media.”

Click to play video: 'Groundhog casually eats a slice of pizza while staring down dogs' Groundhog casually eats a slice of pizza while staring down dogs
Groundhog casually eats a slice of pizza while staring down dogs – Apr 16, 2020

Nova Scotia’s own Shubenacadie Sam is the first groundhog to make a prediction in North America, about an hour before other groundhogs in Eastern Canada and the United States.

In 2020, the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.

Read more: Groundhog Day prognosticator Winnipeg Wyn dies, wildlife centre says

There will be no public events for Groundhog Day at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in 2021.

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