November 23, 2014

Unadilla Bill predicts start of spring

Nebraska’s official groundhog did predict the end of winter today.

“He did go outside on the middle of Main Street and he did not see his shadow.”

And that means spring is right around the corner. Barb Wilhelm is the village clerk of Unadilla, Nebraska, the official Groundhog Capitol of the state. She is talking about Unadilla Bill, the state’s official groundhog. Bill is actually a taxidermies groundhog that met and early demise.

“He was caught in our local banker’s garden eating all the cabbages. When they finally caught him, they had him stuffed and he has lived ever since the early 1980’s in the village bar.”

Wilhelm says Bill is named after a former Lt. Governor of the state.

“The reason he is called Unadilla Bill is I believe Kay Orr was the governor in 1988 and she was out of the state and William Nichol was the lt. governor and he signed a proclamation that we were the official Groundhog Capitol of Nebraska so in his honor, the groundhog was named Unadilla Bill.”

Wilhelm says Unadilla Bill predicts the coming of spring every year on Groundhog’s Day but the community will celebrate the event this coming Saturday. Bill will be front and center for the annual parade that starts at 1 o’clock.

“He leads the parade every year on top of the banker’s brown Falcon, which of course is the official car of Groundhog’s Day because it was introduced on February 2, 1959 by the Ford Motor Company.”

There are a number of other events throughout the day.

FYI… Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania did see his shadow so it will be interesting who comes actually comes out on top… Bill or Phil.