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.
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."