WV Wildlife: Rock Cave Groundhog Festival

West Virginia's very own French Creek Freddie will give his annual prediction on Groundhog Day, February 2, 2019 at 10am. (WCHS/WVAH)

Groundhog Day is just around the corner, and that means that West Virginia's own Groundhog--French Creek Freddie--will be giving us his best weather forecast soon!

His home is the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in Upshur County. The zoo, ran by our West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, allows people from all over to easily view our native wildlife--both past and present.

Freddie is a big hit here--and his popularity extends well into the community and even the entire state!

At the IGA grocery store in Rock Cave--just outside of the wildlife center--the owners, Glen and Joann Hawkins, have embraced this cute member of the squirrel family--and have made a play on words with their 'ground hog' sausage, which comes in several different flavors.

"In 1994, we decided to have ground hog sausage on sale on groundhog day--February the 2nd--and February is one of the slowest months of the year, and it really picks business up for us", said Glen Hawkins--owner of the IGA in Rock Cave.

The sale of this sausage has picked up so much that it's led to the upcoming 4th Annual Groundhog Festival of Rock Cave. The two weekend-long event, which begins this January 25th, brings a lot of people out to enjoy several activities--which is a big help when cabin fever is at it's highest.

Joann Hawkins--co-chairperson for the festival and co-owner of the IGA in Rock Cave--says the festival is good for a couple reasons.

"People really enjoy coming out for food and music--and we have music at almost all of the activities. Make some extra money for some of the organizations and the fire department in Rock Cave".

By helping lift people's spirits and the community, Freddie is more than just a prognosticator.

"And every year, it's growing--just like the sausage did. Every year, it seems like it gets a little bigger".

As does the legend of Freddie.

  • The Groundhog Festival of Rock Cave, WV Facebook Page can be found by clicking here.
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