BUFFALO, N.Y. — Saturday is Buffalo Groundhog Day, and many Western New Yorkers will be able to celebrate in person this year after the event went virtual in 2021. While the event is smaller than usual, the 2022 celebration will be just as grand.
This is the ninth year the Buffalo Groundhog Society, led by Western New York's weatherhog Buffalo Bert, will emerge from their burrows, throw a killer party and let eager Western New Yorkers know if spring is right around the corner or if we've got more winter to contend with.
Buffalo Bert predicted we will have more winter.
The event used to bring hundreds of people out into the cold. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to limit ticket sales to just 150 people and they sold out quickly.
"I think what's really important this year is that when we first started, we had about 30 people in a bar off of Elmwood and then the second year we had about 150 people but ever since then, it's been a massive event," said Buffalo Groundhog Day Society President Adam Hernandez. "And this year is going to feel more scaled back and more like sort of back home to our roots, where we just have a collection of diehard Buffalo Groundhog Day fans."
Although tickets are sold out, you can still take part virtually. Buffalo Bert's prognostication will be streamed live on the Buffalo Groundhog Day Society's Facebook page starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. And anyone can donate to their main mission, animal rescue, by visiting their website.
"We came back, we decided we can do this and we will donate all the proceeds to animal... animal shelters in the area. So our primary charity is Hawk Creek Wildlife Refuge out in East Aurora," said Chris Flynn from the Buffalo Groundhog Day Society.
Hawk Creek is Buffalo Bert's home base and while the final touches are put on the party at Flying Bison, he is getting ready for his big moment. For more information about Hawk Creek, click here.