Iberia Groundhog Day Celebration Is Turning 20 Years Old

This Saturday, Pierre C. Shadeaux, the Cajun Groundhog, turns 20 years old. The annual Groundhog Day celebration will take place once again in Bouligny Plaza in New Iberia on Saturday morning beginning at 7AM! 

(Daily Iberian)


According to a story in the Daily Iberian.

“former Daily Iberian Publisher Will Chapman, the original idea for the celebration was borne out of a common problem for columnists — trying to find something to write about. 

“Having to write two columns a week sometimes left me trying to come up with something,” Chapman said. “Sometimes I was just scratching my head looking for an idea. One day I saw something coming up about Groundhog Day and thought, ‘What the heck do people in Louisiana care about six more weeks of winter?’

“I just thought, ‘Why are we paying attention to what some Yankee groundhog says?’” Chapman remembered. “That is where the idea came from.”

The celebration will take place once again in Bouligny Plaza in New Iberia on Saturday morning beginning at 7AM. 

Bill Murray‘s movie Groundhog Day in 1993 probably made more famous than it was, but surprisingly we have come across these Groundhog day facts:

  • 3% of people have used Groundhog Day an an excuse not to go to work.
  • 50% of Americans don’t know when Groundhog Day actually is.
  • 11% of Americans don’t understand what Groundhog Day is.
  • 30% of people think Groundhog Day is a pointless holiday.
  •  24% of people have never seen a real groundhog.
  •  13% of people will celebrate Groundhog Day by watching the movie Groundhog Day.
  • 8% of people believe the groundhog is always right about the weather.

Other Celebrations going on throughout the country include:

  • Alaska doesn’t celebrate Groundhog Day because there are no groundhogs in the state. Instead, Alaskans celebrate Marmot Day on February 2nd. In 2009, then-Governor Sarah Palin signed a bill making the ground squirrel Alaska’s version of Punxsutawney Phil.
  • Brevard, North Carolina is using a white squirrel instead of a groundhog to predict the end of Winter. The squirrel is named ‘Pete’. On Groundhog Day, he will be lowered into a cage before two cards with the words YES and NO are placed on each side of him. He will then be asked if there is going to be six more weeks of Winter or not.

A Pittsburgh whiskey distillery called Wigle Whiskey has created a special rye whiskey inspired by Punxsutawney Phil called Phil’s Shadow. Each bottle costs $38

The organizers of some Groundhog Day celebrations have banned alcohol because of past rowdy behavior. Organizers do not want drunks shouting obscenities if their groundhog predicts six more weeks of Winter. They also don’t want to expose young children to poor drunken behavior.

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