Family Picks

Find out if Wally or Mortimer sees shadow

CorrespondentJanuary 31, 2013 

Mortimer the groundhog will star in Garner's Groundhog Day celebration February 2, 2013.


This year, Groundhog Day falls on a Saturday, so your family can spend the whole day celebrating this kid-friendly holiday. If you’re looking for more than just a weather prediction, Garner is the place to go.

The town is hosting a Groundhog Day festival with games, dance competitions, wild animal exhibits, crafts and more. Events begin at 10 a.m. at White Deer Park. Mortimer the groundhog will look for his shadow at noon.

Nicole Sweat, an event specialist with the town, said Garner has held a Groundhog Day celebration for several years, but in past years it has always been on a weekday morning. This should be the town’s biggest celebration yet.

Volunteers with a wild animal rescue group will bring animals such as owls, skunks, possums and raccoons for children to see. The N.C. Herpetological Society will add snakes, frogs and other amphibians to the menagerie. Some of the animals will be inside the park’s nature center in case the day is chilly.

At 10:15 a.m., children can watch the release of two rehabilitated hawks.

A DJ will play music, lead games and referee a “dance-off” with kids and costumed mascots. Students from the N.C. State University Forestry Club will demonstrate their lumberjack skills by chopping and sawing giant hunks of wood.

Events will wrap up by about 12:30, but White Deer Park offers plenty to keep your family busy for a full day. Its two playgrounds are among the best in the Triangle, and walking and biking trails crisscross the park.

• You can also celebrate Groundhog Day in downtown Raleigh. Sir Walter Wally will look for his shadow at noon Saturday on the plaza outside the Museum of Natural Sciences. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has several special exhibits on animals and winter.

• If you’re a fan of the film “The Sound of Music,” take the kids to Clayton on Saturday.

At 2 p.m. at the Clayton Center, there will be a sing-along screening of the film. The musical numbers will have subtitles.

There will also be a costume competition before the show, so pull out your best lederhosen.

Tickets: $15 for kids, $18 for adults and can be purchased at

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