Grubby to sleep in Tuesday; new groundhog to take role

Groundhog Day festivities for the town of Hope will have a new groundhog doing the work on Tuesday.

HSJ Online, the Hope news website, is reporting that Grubby the Groundhog will be sitting this year out because of illness. Instead, a young groundhog named Hope will be taking Grubby’s place. Hope was born last spring according to the website. Like her older groundhog predecessor, Hope is a resident of Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators and will not be released to the wild because she does not have the prey defenses needed to survive in the wild.

For the past few years, Groundhog Day festivities have been held on the Hope Town Square, organized by the Main Street of Hope group.

But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be largely virtual. The only live attendees will be the staff at Utopia, Main Street of Hope members and the media. Local dignitaries will be in costume, reading proclamations and reciting Groundhog Day history.

You can watch live starting at 8:30 a.m. on February 2nd through the Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators Facebook page.