Virginia Living Museum hosts annual Groundhog Day, Super Saturday ceremonies

Will Hampton Roads have an early spring or six more weeks of winter?

The Virginia Living Museum’s official forecaster, groundhog Chesapeake Chuck, will make his annual Groundhog Day prediction at noon Friday, museum spokeswoman Judy Triska said in a news release.

WAVY-TV meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler will assist Chuck with his forecast during a short ceremony. The museum’s eighth annual ceremony follows the tradition of Punxsutawney Phil, who makes his prediction by whether or not he sees his own shadow.

If the groundhog sees his shadow Friday, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, we’ll have an early spring, according to the tradition.

Virginia Living Museum curatorial director George Mathews Jr. said in the release that the groundhog prepares for his prognosticating duties with special exercise and diet — particularly corn on the cob, carrots, bananas and pecans.

Mathews and members of the Newport News City Council will join Wheeler to form the ceremony’s “inner circle,” Triska said.

Local elementary school students and other guests will cheer for Chesapeake Chuck.

“We anticipate the outdoor amphitheater will be standing room only, with several hundred members, students and other guest in attendance,” Triska told the Daily Press.

The event is open to the public and is free for Virginia Living Museum members. Guests who are not members are welcome for the ceremony, but must pay museum admission, which is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 3-12.

Chesapeake Chuck also will predict the winner of Super Bowl LII at an event at the Virginia Living Museum Saturday.

The Super Saturday event will have activities and an indoor ceremony at 2 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey and cheer on their favorite team. Football themed face painting will be available, Triska said.

Saturday’s event is also free for members and included in admission for guests who are not members, she said.

In this event, Chuck will be released on a table top in the center of signs with Patriots and Eagles logos. Each will be baited with Chuck’s favorite treats. His pick will be whichever logo he approaches first.

“In previous years, Chuck has predicted not only Super Bowl winners but also Oscar’s Best Motion Picture … sometimes successfully and other times not successfully,” Triska said.

Want to go?

Groundhog Day

When: Noon Friday.

Where: Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News.

Cost: Included in museum admission, which is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 3-12. Free to museum members.

Super Saturday

When: 2 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: Included in price of admission. Free to museum members.

More info: Visit thevlm.org or call 757-595-1900.

Ketchum can be reached at 757-247-7478.

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