Spring is forecast to come early in the Okanagan.
Resident groundhog Okanagan Okie, the stuffed marmot mascot of Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre, made his prediction Thursday, Feb. 2 for Groundhog Day at the centre.
Helped out by some young kids from Vernon’s Maven Lane, who took Okie out of its warming bag, the rodent did not see his shadow, therefore declaring an early spring, much to the chagrin of Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming and event emcee Rebecca Barton of Beach Radio.
Both said they were fans of winter.
Barton did point out that Okie was wrong a year ago with its prediction, and that prognosticating rodents such as Okanagan Okie, Wiarton Willie, Punxsutawney Phil and Schubenacadie Sam are only correct 40 per cent of the time.
Close to 50 people were on hand for Okie’s appearance, enjoying a bonfire, hot beverages and Timbits at the nature centre.
Canadian music legend Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song Okanagan Okie blared on the loudspeaker.
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