There will be a double celebration at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park on Friday, February 2, with both Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day festivities taking place.
Things begin at 7 a.m., with a variety of things to do in the Greenwing Legacy Interpretive Centre.
“As usual, there will be hot drinks, face painting, crafts and educational displays,” said Sue Penney, education coordinator at the centre. “Every year, things are a little bit different because we have different partners join us.”
This year, Clean Nova Scotia foundation, Department of Natural Resources (wildlife division), Bluenose Ecology Action Centre, Canadian Wildlife Federation, IKANAWTIKET (an initiative of the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council), Ducks Unlimited, Mi’kmawey Forestry and a representative of online forestry studies will have displays set up throughout the morning.
This year’s Wetlands Day theme is ‘Wetlands for a sustainable urban future.’
At 8 a.m., Shubenacadie Sam will make his annual prediction on how much more wintry weather we can expect.
From 8:05 until noon people can take a walk through the park and view the animals. Paths will be plowed but good winter footwear is required, as there could be slippery areas.
“The bears will probably be sleeping so people shouldn’t expect to see them,” said Penny. “The peacocks won’t be in the park, and the other groundhog will be doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but this is the time of year when many of the animals are at their most beautiful.”
Sam is preparing for his big day by resting and having twice-daily sessions (8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) with his trainer. Anyone wishing to check on these sessions can view the live Sam Cam at www.novascotiawebcams.com/en/webcams/shubenacadie-sam/ . Sam’s updates can also be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ShubenacadieSam
All Groundhog Day activities at the park are free.