Thursday: Will “Potomac Phil” See His Shadow in Dupont Circle?

by February 1, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,198 0

Dupont Circle, January 2011, Luis Gomez Photos

If Potomac Phil sees his shadow on Thursday, are we in for six weeks of winter? (Luis Gomez Photos, Jan. 26, 2011)

By Michelle Lancaster. Got news, a hot tip or want to complain about what is or isn’t in this? Let her know on Twitter @michlancaster or via email at [email protected].

If Aaron DeNu has his way, “Potomac Phil” will help DC predict an early spring or prolonged winter on Thursday. Yes, there is a person who is actively working on a Groundhog Day ceremony in Dupont Circle, complete with groundhog. Huffington Post has the whole story, because I can’t make this stuff up. “Potomac Phil” is a play on the name of  Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog up in Pennsylvania who comes out each February 2.

The Dupont Festival website says the event is on for 8:30 am sharp on February 2: Moreover, a spokesperson for Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) confirms that he will be there. (Note to Evans: Avoid having photo taken with groundhog.) Yes, Borderstan will have photos for you. BTW, there’s a Facebook page, too.

Apparently, the Department of the Environment gave him the go ahead to use a live groundhog, but readily available wild groundhogs are underground, hibernating, at this point in the year. But if anyone can make it happen (a back up plan includes a stuffed one from Miss Pixie’s on 14th Street NW), Aaron can. He’s one of the guys you can thank for the World Cup viewing parties in 2010 in Dupont Circle. (See Photos: World Cup Soccerpalooza in Dupont Circle.) We will keep you posted on the celebration plans and varmint status.

BTW, here’s the scoop on groundhogs seeing their shadow on February 2: If a groundhog sees his or her shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. It’s celebrated in the United States and Canada and, as Wikipedia notes, the largest “celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.”

Surely you’ve seen the 1993 movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray?


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