News Release: January 26, 2021

FRENCH CREEK, W.VA. — West Virginia’s Groundhog Day celebration, an annual event that draws visitors to the state Wildlife Center in Upshur County, has been cancelled this year to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 virus, the state Division of Natural Resources announced today.

Those who enjoy Groundhog Day festivities should follow the WVDNR’s social media pages (FacebookTwitter and/or Instagram) to find out if French Creek Freddie predicts an early spring or more winter. Results will be posted by noon on Feb. 2.

According to tradition, an early spring can be expected if Freddie doesn’t see his shadow, which is a result of overcast skies on Groundhog Day. If it is sunny, Freddie will see his shadow and return to his burrow for six more weeks of winter.

While the Groundhog Day celebration is cancelled this year, the West Virginia Wildlife Center remains open to visitors seven days a week. From Nov. 1 to March 31, hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free during this period. The state Wildlife Center is home to French Creek Freddie and nearly 30 different native and introduced animal species. For more information, visit