Winchester's Newest Resident, Phil The Groundhog


Winchester, Va. - Could the brutal cold be on its way out? Those who believe in Groundhog Day will have their answer this Sunday.

And it seems like people are ready for spring.

“Yeah, isn't everybody?! I mean it's been freezing cold this year,” said Steve Nerangis, Partner of the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester.

In honor of Groundhog Day, the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting Winchester’s First Ever Groundhog Day Celebration.

"It’s just a really fun thing to do in February. It's after the holidays, and the only other thing going on in February is the super bowl, but Phil is way more exciting that the Super Bowl,” said Wildlife Rehabilitator Lynn Oliver with a laugh.

While Winchester’s Groundhog, Phil, is an added bonus to the festivities, the celebration will benefit a local non-profit, Valley Wildlife Care.

“There are approximately 350 wildlife rehabilitators in Virginia, and most people don't even know what a wildlife rehabilitator does,” Oliver said.

Wildlife rehabilitators are responsible for taking in displaced animals like Phil and releasing them back into the wild.

Phil was rescued from a fraternity house who had turned him into a pet mascot, and is now used for educational purposes for kids and adults alike.

"We didn't even know there was a groundhog available,” said Nerangis, in response to preparing for Groundhog Day. “So they came to us, and asked if we'd like to have a live groundhog for Groundhog Day, and we said of course!"

Remember, if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd, winter stays for 6 more weeks.


EVENT: Winchester’s First Ever Groundhog Day Celebration

WHEN: February 2, 2014, 12:00pm

WHERE: Alamo Drafthouse

181 Kernstown Commons Blvd.

Winchester, Va. 22602

WHAT: See Winchester Phil predict the next six weeks of weather, bid on silent action items benefiting Valley Wildlife Care, and watch a special screen of Groundhog Day. Adults and children are welcome!

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