FRENCH CREEK, W.Va. — Will West Virginia suffer more winter or enjoy an early spring? "French Creek Freddie," the Mountain State's unofficial weather-prognosticating groundhog, will weigh in during the 46th annual Groundhog Day Festival at the West Virginia Wildlife Center on Thursday, Feb. 2.
According to Trevor Moore, a wildlife biologist at the center, the public is invited to attend the free event starting at 9:30 a.m.
“We are very excited to see what Freddie predicts this year and to welcome all of our guests, many of whom make the trip to French Creek each February,” Moore said of the event.
"We have several special activities planned and hope to see folks and their families come out and enjoy a fun morning at the Wildlife Center.”
Those who wish to attend Groundhog Day activities should plan to arrive at the Wildlife Center amphitheater by 9:30 a.m., after which Freddie will provide his weather forecast at 10 a.m.
Following Freddie’s prediction, guests can win prizes during the 10th annual Woodchuckin Contest. Additional activities include:
- Meet and greet with the French Creek Freddie mascot
- Music performed by the French Creek Elementary School Choir
- Free hot chocolate and cookies at the Gift Shop
- ProjectWild activity
In addition to these special activities, guests are invited to tour the Wildlife Center at their leisure. For more information, call 304-924-6211 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit WVDNR.gov/west-virginia-wildlife-center.
About the West Virginia State Wildlife Center
The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is a modern zoological facility operated by the wildlife resources section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Species at the facility include black bear, bobcat, elk, and historically native species that are no longer present in the state, including bison, gray wolf, and mountain lion.
Spacious enclosures allow animals to interact with their natural environment and exhibit natural behaviors. Interpretive signs help visitors to learn more about each animal’s life history, biology, and relationship with humans. Each species can be viewed along a wheelchair-accessible, 1.25-mile trail that runs through a mature hardwood forest.
Directions to the West Virginia State Wildlife Center
From I-79 at Flatwoods, West Virginia, take exit 67 and follow US-19/WV-4 north, approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave. Stay on WV-4 north at the US-19/WV-4 Junction. From Rock Cave, follow WV-20 north for two miles to the center.