For the 36th year, French Creek Freddie, the state's official weather prognosticating groundhog, will be the star of the show this Sunday at the West Virginia Wildlife Center at French Creek in Upshur County.
"Everyone is invited to join in the fun of Groundhog Day at the Wildlife Center and take a walking tour of the native wildlife on display," said Rob Silvester, District 3 wildlife biologist.
"Since Groundhog Day falls on a Sunday this year, it's a perfect time to bring out the whole family."
Festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m. Previously announced Appalachian storytellers "Granny Sue" and Judi Tarowsky will be unable to attend, but Wildlife Center staff are preparing other fun activities prior to wake-up time with Freddie at 10 a.m.
Following Freddie's weather prognostication, the second annual Woodchuckin' Contest will start at 10:30 a.m. A number of exhibitors will be in the Gift Shop including a potter, the Sheepherders Association and a blacksmith. Guests may enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and children will have activity sheets to take home.
The West Virginia 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 about 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 about 30 miles to Rock Cave. 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.Call 304-924-6211 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit online at www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/wildlifecenter.shtm.