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Update: Potomac Phil Sees His Shadow, More Winter Ahead

D.C. resident Aaron DeNu started a groundhog's day tradition in Dupont Circle Thursday.

A taxidermied Potomac Phil saw his shadow during a ceremony at Dupont Circle, Thursday. D.C. resident should brace for six more weeks of winter. 

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A groundhog's day tradition could begin today in Dupont Circle, if Aaron DeNu can track down a live, non-hibernating groundhog to become the first Potomac Phil in time for this morning's 8:30 a.m. ceremony.

DeNu began planning the event about a month ago, according to the Huffington Post D.C. He even got permission from the D.C. Department of the Environment's Fisheries & Wildlife division to have a live groundhog at the ceremony in Dupont cricle. 

Hibernation is the biggest obstacle to having a live groundhog at the first ever ceremony in the District. DeNu spoke to wildlife sanctuaries and even the National Zoo during his quest to find the weather-forecasting mammal. The Zoo offered animals of a similar species, but had no groundhog to speak of.

"But we weren't really looking for a prairie dog," he told the Huffington Post. "We are looking for a groundhog."

The ceremony will likely go on with either a stuffed animal or taxidermied groundhog, though certainly with less fanfare.

DeNu remained positive during an interview with the Huffington Post, "We've got our eyes set in the right vision. We're strategically thinking about this Groundhog Day. All we need is a groundhog."

Read more about Potomac Phil and DeNu's efforts at the Huffington Post D.C.

K EEP Real February 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Just saw on Fox 5. LAME!!! Hopefully first and last year for this event.
Shaun Courtney (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Would you like it better with a real groundhog? Or are you a Punxsutawney Phil purist?
Darius Massoudi February 02, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Wow. You are the epitome of a grouch. I passed by the event today on my way to work and I thought it was awesome. I definitely think that this city needs way more spontaneity. I'm temporarily here from California and that's one of the biggest things I've missed about the Golden State! You go to LA or SF and there's constantly random things going on every day. It's events like this that make days fun and exciting! There were free cookies, people taking pictures with a fake Groundhog and even PETA protesters!! :-)

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