Grubby the Groundhog broke with her Pennsylvania cousin Thursday, on her ceremony at the Hope Town Square -- signaling that winter could be ending soon.
Grubby, who is sheltered by Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators, did not see her shadow, according to her interpreter Kathy Hershey from Utopia.
About 80 people turned out for the ceremony on a brisk morning and then moved to WiLLow LeaVes of Hope for refreshments. Among those in attendance were students at the Hope Community Center's pre-school program, said Town Manager J.T. Doane.
Hershey had a bit of trouble fishing Grubby from her box and Doane said that Grubby was a bit grumpy at being rousted from her winter hibernation. But the crowd cheered at Grubby's lack of shadow-seeing.
Folklore has it that if the groundhog does see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, the most famous groundhog weather forecaster, did see his shadow Tuesday morning according to reports.
Grubby originally came to Utopia as a baby after being mauled by a dog. After being nursed back to health, she was released but returned to her home at Utopia and has been there ever since.
Also taking part in Thursday's ceremony, were Grubby's Groupies including Doane, Dr. Greg Sweet, David Webster, Chuck Baker, Dave Miller and Michael Dean. All were dressed formally for the occasion.
Doane said a contingent of the Groupies later accompanied Grubby in a visit to Hope Elementary School.