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Greta the Groundhog predicts more winter, Super Bowl winner

Guests traveled from around the country to attend the Park’s 14th Annual Groundhog Day Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 2.

John McFadden, from Florida, drove to Chimney Rock to meet his girlfriend, Andi Criscella, from Pennsylvania, for the event. Criscella has been attending Groundhog Day events across the United States every year since 2012.

“This has become a tradition for me and my kids,” said Criscella. “Every year we get away from our home for a while and enjoy seeing another part of the country and how other people celebrate Groundhog Day.”

John McFadden takes a closer look at Greta while wearing a groundhog hat.

Visitors were treated to crafts and a meet and greet with Greta the Groundhog’s animal friends before her prediction. This year there was also a birthday song sung by attendees for one of their fellow crowd members, Mitch Corn, who decided to spend his birthday at the Park.

“We’ve never been to this event before, so I thought it would be a good way to celebrate,” said Corn. “I had no idea that the entire crowd would sing me happy birthday, but it’s made today extra special.”

At 10:30 a.m., Greta came out of her house only briefly and then wanted to go back in. Legend says that if a groundhog sees its shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, then spring will come early.  Chimney Rock Village Mayor Peter O’Leary declared that because of Greta’s reaction, there would be six more winter ahead.

At the end of the event, Greta chose the winner of Super Bowl LIII. Two identical treat bowls were marked with each team’s mascot and placed in front of her. She initially nibbled from the New England Patriots’ bowl, but then went to the Los Angeles Rams bowl. That means the Rams have a good chance of winning, since Greta has been right 50% of the time with her Super Bowl predictions.