Sunday, February 02, 2020

Wiarton Willie predicts early spring

The official call, after a slight mix-up on stage, is that Wiarton Willie forecasts an early spring for 2020! That's what I'm talking about. Wiarton Mayor Janice Jackson interpreted William's prediction, stated that the superstar albino groundhog couldn't see his shadow with all that snow falling all around the large crowd gathered around the stage. Then unfortunately she suggested that the result was six more weeks of winter. She was soon corrected when they pointed out that a shadow would scare the rodent back into his burrow and extend winter, if there was no shadow that meant spring would be early. So they set time back and replayed the announcement - this time, without a doubt an early spring is coming.
Getting a closer look at Willie in his special cage
Town Criers announce the results and ring their bells

Today's Groundhog Day is a rare palindrome that only occurs once this century. Read the same either forward or backwards this Sunday, February 2nd is written only with numerals is 02/02/2020.
A pipe and drum band preceded Wiarton Willie. Then Willie was carried to the stage along with the Town Criers and an OPP bodyguard
The main stage ceremony

From the visit Wiarton website; "The free festival has a winter carnival theme and will run on Saturday, February 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will include family-friendly activities in Bluewater Park such as a Ferris Wheel, Midway Games and Giant Slide. Festival patrons will also be able to take a wagon ride to downtown Wiarton where they can visit local stores and restaurants. A horse-drawn wagon ride taking festival-goers from the park to downtown. On Sunday, February 2nd, people can gather in Bluewater Park and join us in Waking Up Willie at 7:00 a.m. with a spectacular fireworks display, followed by Willie’s official prediction at 8:07am."

That was the first early morning fireworks that I have ever attended and they did a great job lighting of the show along the shores of Georgian Bay in Bluewater Park. Immediately afterwards everyone assembled at the main stage outside the community centre and waited for Willie to show up. Premier Doug Ford attended his second Wiarton Willie festival and was joined by several other politicians which formed part of Willies Shadow Cabinet.
Premier Doug Ford does some meet and greets after the prediction ceremony was complete
Only a few protesters were in the crowd

See more photos of the event after the jump.

McLaren's Pipes and Drums band marches in
Bruce County Queen of the Furrow
Ice Carving of Wiarton Willie

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