Groundhogâ€™s Day was celebrated in full force by members of the Lincoln County Groundhog Association on Thursday.
Across the country, watchers of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania saw him view his own shadow, thereby, according to legend, predicting six more weeks of winter. Locally, it was all up to Groundhog Gus.
Lincoln County Groundhog Association members, dressed in head-to-toe camouflage and lead by â€œGroundhog Queenâ€ Kay Lowe, toured schools throughout the county to present educational programs to students with Gus, a preserved and stuffed groundhog, in tow. Other members participating in the event included Joan Snipes, Sandi Turner and Cindy Hatley.
At S. Ray Lowder Elementary School in Lincolnton, prekindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students were treated to a showing of Gus and songs related to the holiday. Those brave enough to do so were allowed to pet him, as well.
As for Gusâ€™ prediction, it was apparently too foggy for the rodent to come to an accurate conclusion regarding just how much winter is left. Therefore, students were asked to check on their shadows in coming weeks to make their own determinations.
Members also conducted their annual â€œgroundhog carolingâ€ later in the day through downtown Lincolnton.
The local celebration originated from a study on hibernation by Lowe almost 40 years ago.