To get in the spirit of Groundhog Day — whether you want six more weeks of winter or not — here are 10 fun facts about the holiday:
1. Punxsutawney Phil is the official groundhog forecaster on February 2, but many states have their own (like New York’s Pothole Pete).
2. Phil’s full name, granted by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.
3. Groundhogs typically weigh between 12 and 15 pounds; Phil is 22 pounds.
4. Groundhogs only live six to eight years, but folklore suggests that Phil sips a magical drink that gives him seven more years of life.
5. The Germans originally chose a hedgehog as their animal forecaster. They turned to groundhogs instead when they discovered a large amount of them in Pennsylvania.
6. Hibernation is similar to being in a coma. When groundhogs hibernate, their heart rates drop to five beats per minute and they can lose up to 30 percent of their body fat.
7. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three-day celebration leading up to Groundhog Day.
8. The popular movie of the same name (starring Rockland County resident Bill Murray) gave meaning to the phrase “groundhog day”: to repeat something over and over again.
9. Phil’s fans have been able to get text message alerts of his predictions since 2010. (Text “Groundhog” to 247365, in case you’re interested.)
So, what’s your prediction? More wintry weather, or blue skies and sunshine? Sound off by writing a comment below.
This article originally appeared on hvmag.com in 2015. It has been updated to reflect 2019’s forecast and Punxsutawney Phil statistics.
Fantasy of Lights one of biggest ever
The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade was one of the largest in the last 15 years. See all the first and second place winning floats in the weekend Bowie News. Congratulations to Bowie Community Development and all its volunteers and helpers who made the festival such a success.
Picture above first place winner Sister Act Connection.
Tales ‘N’ Trails offering engraved bricks
Tales ‘N’ Trails Museum is offering the opportunity to purchase a personalized, engraved paving brick that will be part of a permanent walkway at the museum. Anyone may purchase a brick to support the museum while leaving a lasting mark. Bricks may honor a loved one, be in memory of a family member, celebrate a special occasion or promote a business or a worthy cause. The cost of a brick is $50 with three lines available with up to 21 letters or spaces per line. Make checks payable to Tales ‘N’ Trails Museum, 1522 E. Highway 82, Nocona, TX 76255. NellAnn McBroom, TNT curator, said the response has been great for the bricks. Bricks from downtown Nocona will line the walkway that leads to the outside exhibits at the museum’s back entry and the engraved bricks will go in a special area in the sidewalk.“They would make a great Christmas presents and we have gift certificates you can put in a card. The Nocona High Class of 1975 has purchased one for each of its members and challenged the other classes to do the same. The Classes of 1976 and 1978 have taken the challenge,” explained McBroom. The brick forms are at talesandtrails.org or the TNT Facebook page.
Return you Bowie Chamber director ballots
Ballots for the three vacancies for the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are due on Dec. 11.
Membership Director Debbie Herriage reminds members to submit their ballots that went out in email. The election will select three of the possibly 15 members of the board. The directors serve a three-year term.
The ballot contains three candidates and a place for a write-in nomination. Those on the ballot are Diane Romine, Texas Landmark Realtors, Elaine Kunkleman, Wise Street Mercantile and Suite and Kory Hooks, Kory Hooks Auto Group.
Drops ballots off at the office 101 E. Pecan or return by email.
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