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Friday, February 2, 2018

Wiarton Willie Sees His Shadow

Wiarton | by Matt Hermiz  

Six more weeks of winter, says Canada's top groundhog weather prognosticator

Canada's top weather prognosticator is calling for six more weeks of winter.
 
Wiarton Willie the fourth, formerly known as Wee Willie, has seen his shadow in his first Groundhog Day prediction. 
 
Willie made his call among a gathering of hundreds of people outside Wiarton Arena at 8:07 a.m.
 
Town of South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson says she is impressed with the number of people who came out, especially considering frigid temperatures that touched -25C with the windchill.
 
"We did have a huge crowd and I think everyone had a lot of fun," Jackson says. "We had some really good entertainment, and of course the debut of our new Willie."
 
"It worked out Willie, Willie well."
 
Bruce Grey Owen Sound MP Larry Miller and MPP Bill Walker, both members of Willie's shadow cabinet, were on hand for prediction morning. 
 
Miller delivered a speech affirming Wiarton Willie as the most reliable forecaster on Groundhog Day.
 
"Take Alberta's brown-coated Balzac Billy, his prediction skills just make him look silly," Miller proclaims playfully. "Or Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam, whose prediction record is simply a sham."
 
Chris Thomas, a Wiarton resident, was among those hoping Willie would forecast an early spring. Despite the letdown, she still holds Willie in the highest regard.
 
"Wiarton Willie could never disappoint anybody," Thomas says. "He's just the greatest."
 
Many from all over travelled to the Bruce Peninsula to hear Wiarton Willie the fourth's debut forecast. Visitors from all across Canada, the U.S., and even overseas -- including Australia, Netherlands and Finland -- were in Wiarton for Groundhog Day.
 
The 2018 Wiarton Willie Fest continues this weekend. The full schedule for all events follows:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND
 
11 a.m. - Groundhog Stories with Willie - Ross Whicher Centre
12 p.m. - Puck Shoot Out - Bluewater Park
  - Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides - Bluewater Park
- Snow Snake - Bluewater Park
- Knowlzies Food - Bluewater Park
- Snow Art - Bluewater Park
- Snowman Building - Bluewater Park
- Glass Blowing - Bluewater Park
1:30 p.m. - Gateway Haven Senior Shadow Seekers - Gateway Haven
7 p.m. - Wiarton Willie Lion's Hockey Tournament - Wiarton Arena
- Wiarton Lion's Casino - Wiarton Arena
9 p.m. - Prediction Night Karaoke - Wiarton Legion
 
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD
 
8 a.m. - St. John's United Church Pancake Breakfast - St. John's United Church
           - Wiarton Willie Lion's Hockey Tournament - Wiarton Arena
9 a.m. - Wiarton and District Curling Club Mixed Curling Bonspiel - Wiarton Curling Club
           - Wiarton Willie Coed Volleyball Tournament - Peninsula Shores District School
           - Dan Fries Dart Tournament - Wiarton Legion
           - Wiarton Willie Snooker and 8 Ball Tournament - Lloyd's Smoke Shop
10 a.m. - Wiarton Willie Craft Show - Peninsula Shores District School
11 a.m. - Masonic Cheap Chili Chowdown Lunch - Masonic Hall
12 p.m. - Puck Shoot Out - Bluewater Park
- Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides - Bluewater Park
- Snow Snake - Bluewater Park
- Knowlzies Food - Bluewater Park
- Snow Art - Bluewater Park
- Snowman Building - Bluewater Park
- Glass Blowing - Bluewater Park
2 p.m.  - Wiarton District Optimist Fancy Tea - Salvation Army
4 p.m.  - Wiarton Propeller Club Fish Dinner - Wiarton Meeting Place
9 p.m.  - Groundhog Bash - Wiarton Meeting Place
            - Lion's Club Willie Dance - Wiarton Arena
 
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH
 
7:30 a.m. - Groundhog Jog - Peninsula Shores District School
10 a.m.    - Wiarton Willie Lion's Hockey Tournament - Wiarton Arena

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