Groundhog Day with French Creek Freddie at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center

French Creek Freddie says Cropped

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

French Creek, W.Va.-(Ammoland.com)- For the 37th year, French Creek Freddie, the state’s official weather prognosticating groundhog, will be the star of the show on Monday, Feb. 2, at the West Virginia Wildlife Center at French Creek in Upshur County.

Each Groundhog Day, a Wildlife Center staff member awakens the rodent and brings him out of his winter hibernation box to allow him to look for his shadow and predict the severity of the remaining six weeks of winter.

He’s usually right, but after making his forecast before an audience of hundreds of groundhog fans, including news media from around the state, he is more than happy to return to the warmth of his bed.

“Everyone is invited to join in the fun of Groundhog Day at the West Virginia Wildlife Center, and afterward take a walking tour of the native wildlife on display,” said Rob Silvester, district wildlife biologist. “Festivities begin in the amphitheater at 9:30 a.m. with entertainment by Keith Buchanan. Wake-up time for Freddie is 10 a.m. Our third annual Woodchuckin’ Contest starts at 10:30 a.m. The Gift Shop will have free hot chocolate and cookies for all our guests, and we’ll have activity sheets for the kids to take home.” The event is free.

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is located in Upshur County in north-central West Virginia, 12 miles south of Buckhannon on State Route 20. From the north, take exit 99 off Interstate 79 and follow State Route 33 east approximately 12 miles to Buckhannon and turn south on State Route 20. Coming from the south, take exit 67 off Interstate 79 at Flatwoods and follow State Routes 19 and 4 north approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave and Route 20. Follow State Route 20 North for 2 miles to the center. Visiting the Wildlife Center is a convenient side trip for travelers on I-79.

For more information, call 304-924-6211 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/wildlifecenter.shtm .