SHUBENACADIE – Groundhog Day may be two weeks away, but the celebration has already begun as Shubenacadie Sam marks his 25th anniversary in 2013.
Shubie Sam is sharing his pre-groundhog day preparation with the first "Sam Cam" at www.novascotiawebcams.com/special/shubenacadie-sam.html and has started a Twitter account @ShubenacadieSam.
"It's the 25th anniversary of the Ground Day event at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, and we're excited to be celebrating on a Saturday," Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "After all, Shubenacadie Sam is the first groundhog in North America to make his prediction each year."
From Sam's home at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, visitors around the world will see him prepare for his big moment. As the legend goes, if a groundhog doesn't see his shadow, we are in for an early spring; otherwise it's six more weeks of winter.
"They are going to feed me at 7:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. other than that, I'll sleep and tweet," Sam has announced on his Twitter account. "Come visit me on Feb. 2."
The park will open at 7 a.m. on Feb. 2, with Shubenacadie Sam making his appearance and prediction at 8 a.m. sharp. Admission to the park is free. A bagpiper and town crier will help herald the announcement.
Free hot drinks will be provided along with snowshoeing, crafts, face painting and a groundhog game. There is a 9 a.m. guided nature walk and Dave Taylor will offer a wild animal slide show at 10 a.m.
Local performers The Alternators will be playing old-time music around a woodstove and the community is offering breakfast at the Shubenacadie Legion.
Local businesses, such as the Tin Shop Museum in Shubenacadie and Mastodon Ridge, are also welcoming visitors. The Ridge is offering a free showing of Charlotte's Web at 2 p.m.