BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Not to be outdone by his more famous weather predicting rival in Punxsutawney, Boulder's own Flatiron Freddy wore a mask and a firefighter's uniform for his big moment on Tuesday.
And, oh yeah, the stuffed, yellow-bellied marmot saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
It's all in good fun, as many people point out no matter what various rodents and their handlers predict on Groundhog Day, spring will begin on March 20. No doubt about it, Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks department has a lot of fun with the annual tradition.
Flatiron Freddy became a Groundhog Day weather prognosticator about a decade ago. He was enjoying a peaceful afterlife in Flagstaff Nature Center when he was accidentally left out during the winter instead of being stored with the other mounts. His fur was damaged, and he was dumped in the garbage.
But Ranger Dave Gustafson saw potential in Freddy. He pulled him from the trash, gave him a top hat, and a legend was born.
This year, instead of his usual cape, Freddy wore a tiny firefighter's coat to cover his damaged fur. He had a mask to, um, not spread viruses in the middle of a pandemic. He also made his prediction during a virtual event.
This year marks four years in a row in which Flatiron Freddy has seen his shadow. The last time he didn't was in 2017, on a cloudy day when the marmot made his entrance by riding in a tiny canoe attached to a zipline.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow on Tuesday and also predicted six more weeks of winter.
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