Balzac Billy has been predicting Alberta's spring weather on Groundhog Day for many years. (Contributed by Balzac Business Community Association)

Balzac Billy predicts more winter

The Groundhog’s Day tradition continued at the Blue Grass Nursery with a live video

Winter will stick around a bit longer, according to Alberta’s rodent prognosticator.

The seasonal prediction went high tech Tuesday morning with Alberta’s own Balzac Billy awaking at the Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre for Groundhog’s Day.

The rodent awoke from hibernation at 8:13 a.m. at the annual Groundhog’s day event, and predicted more winter for Alberta. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the prediction was done over Facebook and Instagram live.

As soon as Billy’s prediction came in, snow started to fall.

Sad moans followed the prediction as Billy went back into his whole into his whole.

North America’s other two groundhogs, Wiarton Willie from Ontario predicted an early spring while his counterpart and Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania, predicted six more weeks of winter.

According to the folks at Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre, Balzac Billy’s prediction are 86 per cent accurate.

In Alberta, Billy is actually not a groundhog, but still makes the annual prediction for the province.

Balzac Billy was originally a Richardson Ground Squirrel, a common species found throughout Alberta.Today he is a man-sized groundhog mascot brought out on Groundhog’s Day, Feb. 2, each year.

Groundhog Day derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition. It is believed if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if he does not, due to cloudiness, spring season will arrive early.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

A retired professor of psychology from Ponoka has penned a book about… Continue reading

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

Jacqueline Buffalo. (Photo submitted)
TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

By Chevi Rabbit For Ponoka News Usage of the popular social media… Continue reading

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub is currently located in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin business owners concerned over 24/7 Integrated Hub’s impact downtown

Downtown businesses have had loss of customers, threats, increased property damage and break-ins.

Girls between the ages of 12 to 18 are most commonly the victims of human trafficking. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Alberta RCMP raises awareness of the dangers of human trafficking

Feb. 22 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

(Canada Post-Special To The News)
Ontario Canada Post worksite hit by major virus outbreak excluded from inspections

Just this year more than 300 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person has died

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH. (Pool/Getty Images/TNS)
Possibility of wearing masks into 2022 to defeat COVID-19: Dr. Fauci

Despite getting vaccinated, masks will be essential

Most Read