The Washington Post

‘Potomac Phil' returns to Dupont Circle for Groundhog Day prediction

Punxsutawny Phil’s “brother” may be dead and stuffed, but that won’t stop him from making a Groundhog Day prediction this weekend.

At the District’s second annual Groundhog Day celebration, “Potomac Phil” will look for his shadow in Dupont Circle Saturday morning to determine how long winter will last.

According to legend, if one of the Phils — be it the real-life Punxsutawny or the taxidermied Potomac — sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last six more weeks.

This being Washington, Potomac Phil is also expected to make political predictions, organizers said.

The predictions are slated to be the main event in a morning of celebration, which will include live accordion music and polka dancing.

Last year’s event also included cookies shaped like groundhogs and an opportunity to take photos with the “National Groundhog.” Some revelers hesitated to get too close because they said Potomac Phil, with his grizzled fur and aggressive expression, looked “creepy.”

Still, the stuffed groundhog’s debut was enough of a success to warrant his return this year, according to organizers.

Saturday’s family-friendly event will begin at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Dupont Circle fountain, with the groundhog expected to emerge at 8 a.m.


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