Plans for Groundhog Day? Long Island (Updated 2012)

2012: To see Malverne Mel on Long Island, go to Nassau County on Feb 2nd. Event listing: here.

Important update for 2011: The Malverne Ground Hog Day event was canceled due to the weather. (Mel will call in his report!). Please check with organizers before heading out to Wednesday morning events.

Update 2011: For this year’s Long Island Groundhog Day events, see 2011 onthewilderside post: here.

Stuart Marcus on the right

A Long Island music scene: Stuart Marcus on the right

Update 2010: Phil says 6 more weeks of winter, a  groundhog in Canada agrees. Story: here.

For the year 2009, Groundhog update: It’s 9:07 on Monday morning. 1. A Newsday headline reports, “‘Holtsville Hal’ saw his shadow” (that means long winter) 2. “Malverne Mel didn’t see his shadow — so an early spring is on its way,” is reported by Newsday 3. Over in Pennsylvania, Puxsutawney Phil saw his shadow: so Phil says six more weeks of winter.

Planning for Groundhog  Day on Long Island

Groundhog Day is a wonderful tradition for many reasons. For one, it is a secular holiday, so folks of all religions can join in the fun together. And, also, it is a nice connection to nature and the seasons, in a culture where we sometimes forget.

Add to that the potential to hear a local, Long Island musician, and I say it’s worth it to wake up early tomorrow morning.

At 7 a.m. on Monday, February 2nd,  at the Reese Park Gazebo on Church Street near the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Malverne, groundhog Malverne Mel will make his prediction about winter and spring, and singer-songwriter Stuart Markus (see photo) will perform his song “The Ballad of Malverne Mel.”

Newsday wrote about this and other Long Island groundhog events:

(excerpt from) Newsday
Long Island’s groundhogs get ready for their big day

By Ari Goldstein

Monday morning, local groundhogs Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel will emerge from their respective burrows, and prognosticate the next six weeks of weather based on whether they see their shadows.

To see Hal, stop by The Holtsville Ecology Site and Wildlife Preserve at 249 Buckley Rd. (a mile and a half south of the LIE,)…

Hot “Halichino” (hot chocolate), coffee and Danish pastries will be sold beginning at around 6:45 a.m. At 7 a.m., Hal’s “chief weatherman,” Wayne Carrington, will deliver information on Groundhog Day and ask trivia questions. [Groundhog gets consulted at exactly 7:25 am]…

In Nassau County, Mel will make his prediction at the Reese Park Gazebo on Church Street near the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Malverne…

At the Staten Island Zoo, Charles G. Hogg, also known as “Staten Island Chuck,” will make his prediction at 7:30 a.m. The zoo, located at 614 Broadway in West Brighton, will also host a blood drive from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Donors will receive free admission to the zoo.

And, of course, in Punxsutawney, Pa., “Punxsutawney Phil” makes his prediction at daybreak, at about 7:25 a.m.

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