Thursday, Feb. 2, is recognized as Groundhog Day across North America but in Penticton, it’s also known by some as Kevin the Goose Day.
Although Vernon-based stuffed groundhog Okanagan Okie predicted an early spring after not seeing his shadow on Thursday, Penticton’s most famous Canada goose wanted to have a say in the matter, too.
Because the city doesn’t have a groundhog, the Penticton Western News decided last February that Kevin would be a suitable local ambassador for Groundhog Day.
By the shores of Okanagan Lake, the broken-wing Canada goose predicted an early spring last year.
The same can’t be said in 2023.
Kevin did in fact see his shadow early on Thursday, predicting another six weeks of winter in the city.
Predictions, however, should be taken with a grain of salt.
According to Rebecca Barton of Beach Radio in Vernon — the emcee of Thursday’s aforementioned Okanagan Okie event — North America’s most famous groundhogs are only 40 per cent correct when making their early spring or long winter predictions.
Kevin’s celebrity status in the city was only solidified when he took on the role of weather-bird last winter.
Folklore that spans more than 100 years says that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, it will retreat, predicting six more weeks of winter.
In Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam and Lucy the Lobster, both predicted six more weeks of winter, with Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil in agreement.
Fred la Marmotte in Quebec, though, reportedly died before he was able to make a Groundhog Day prediction on Thursday.