The tradition of groundhog day dates back to 1887, it is hard to say when Nova Scotians started watching these weather-predicting rodents. It is hard to say how accurate groundhogs are at predicting the coming of spring. Canadian meteorological data finds that prediction rates being correct are low. However, this doesn’t stop the hope that groundhogs are right and spring is coming six weeks early. Groundhog day also falls halfway between the winter solstice or longest night of the year, and the spring equinox, which is when day and night are the same lengths.
Shubenacadie Sam, the Prognosticating Groundhog maybe Nova Scotia’s most famous groundhog. Since 1987, four groundhogs have been honoured with the name of Shubenacadie Sam. People from across Nova Scotia head to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park to watch Sam come out of his hole and see if he sees his shadow. On February 2nd, television and radio stations set up early as no one knows when Sam will pop his head out and make his prediction. Sam is said to be the most accurate with predicting if spring is coming early or late. He is also the first woodchuck in North America to make a prediction every Groundhog Day. The park even has a SamCam for people to watch online.
Groundhog Day Celebrations in Nova Scotia
Shubenacadie Sam – Shubenacadie Provincial Wild Park
The Shubenacadie Provincial Wild Park opens from 7 am to 12 pm for Groundhog Day. Celebrate with face painting and hot drinks while waiting for Sam to make his appearance at around 8am. February 2nd is also World Wetlands Day, and Shubenacadie Wild Park celebrates with interactive displays about the Maritimes wetlands. Make sure to check out the gift shop as there is special Shubenacadie Sam items that are only available on Groundhog Day. The animal display will be open from 8:15 am to 3pm on Groundhog Day for visitors to see the other species that call the wildlife park home. There will be also be free hot drinks, face-painting and interactive displays from 7am-12pm. Details
Sunday, February 2, 2020 | 7 AM – 3 PM
Shubenacadie Provincial Wild Park, 149 Creighton Rd, Shubenacadie
TR Tunnel – Two Rivers Wildlife Park
Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Mira is home to TR Tunnel. TR Tunnel checks out the weather later than Sam, at around 11:22 am on Groundhog Day. Two River celebrates for three days as the Winter Frolic events lead up to and include Groundhog Day. On Friday and Saturday, celebrate winter at the Winter Frolic. Go on free wagon rides from 1-3pm, or go skating or snowshoeing all day. Warm up at the kitchen, and watch the animals play in the snow. Sunday is when the groundhog fun takes place. Groundhog Events start at 11:15am as everyone waits for TR Tunnel to be woken up. After the groundhog ceremonies, Winter Frolic events continue on Sunday afternoon. Details
Winter Frolic: January 31 to February 2, 2020
Prediction: February 2 at 11:22am, Groundhog Festivities: 10 AM -5 PM
Two Rivers Wildlife Park, 4581 Grand Mira North Road, Mira