Not even real groundhogs? Canadian tradition now steeped in silliness

Sutton Sammy Sutton West, Ont.  - mascot - said to live under the water tower - was created by...

Sutton Sammy
Sutton West, Ont.
- mascot
- said to live under the water tower
- was created by local Home Hardware
- during his prediction, Sammy gets dressed up with a top hat and people who attend the event also can wear top hats that are provided
(Photo: Supplied/QMI Agency)

Kate Schwass-Bueckert, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:57 PM ET

Every year on Feb. 2, Canadians turn to groundhogs to find out just how much more winter we have to endure.

As Wiarton Willie in Ontario and Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia leave their burrows, we wait to hear whether they see their shadows.

It's a tradition that dates back to pagan times in prehistoric Europe.

But, as silly as the holiday already is in the modern world, it's gotten even sillier in recent years with some areas looking to host the holiday on the cheap.

Imposter groundhogs have taken over.

Fakes have been cropping up from coast to coast in recent year, and even include the famous likes of Manitoba Merv (a puppet) and Calgary area's Balzac Billy (a mascot).


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