11th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day

Chimney Rock State Park hosted their 11th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.

This year Grady did not see his shadow, predicting a short winter. Grady has a 50 percent success rate with his forecasts, unlike Punxsutawney Phil who has only been correct 30 percent.

The event promoted crafts for the children, a tour of Grady’s Animal Discovery Den and a visit from the Planter’s NUTmobile and Mr. Peanut.

Peter O’Leary, mayor of Chimney Rock, attended for the first time and gave a short speech before Grady was released from his den.

“It’s an exciting day in Chimney Rock and we can’t wait to see if Grady is going to give us six more weeks of winter or if spring is right around the corner,” O’Leary said, “so we are looking forward to that.”

Grady, like all animals at the park, is a rehabilitated groundhog unable to live in the wild due to a parasite he had when he was born, said Public Relations Manager Shannon Quinn. He has been predicting the weather on Groundhog Day since 2010.

Grady the Groundhog draws attention from people of all generations by bringing this loved tradition closer to home.

Children craft their own groundhog before the festivities.

Children craft their own groundhog before the festivities.

Grady the Groundhog loved the attention from all his fans.

Grady the Groundhog loved the attention from all his fans.

Mayor Peter O'Leary poses with local children.

Mayor Peter O’Leary poses with local children.

Mayor Peter O'Leary poses with local children.

Mayor Peter O’Leary poses with local children.