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VLM Groundhog’s Groundbreaking Prediction

January 30, 2017

The Virginia Living Museum’s (VLM) resident groundhog, Chesapeake Chuck, is slated to foretell the Hampton Roads prolonged winter or early spring forecast, Thursday, February 2, from 12 to 12:30 p.m. at the Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News.

As the official groundhog forecaster for Hampton Roads, Chesapeake Chuck’s profession started in 2011 and this year’s Groundhog Ceremony marks his seventh appearance at the VLM. Per tradition, WAVY-TV 10 Meteorologist, Jeremy Wheeler will join Chesapeake Chuck to help evaluate his prognosis in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater. Members of Newport News City Council, Deer Park Elementary students and Museum guests will also be in attendance to cheer Chesapeake Chuck on.

According to George Matthews Jr., VLM Curatorial Director, Chesapeake Chuck takes his trade seriously and begins preparing several weeks in advance. With exercise and a special

diet consisting of corn on the cob, bananas, and pecans, Chesapeake Chuck comes out of hibernation to preside over the annual ceremony every February 2.

“Whether it be Hampton Roads weather, Superbowl champions or Oscar winners, Chesapeake Chuck has made a variety of predictions for us over the years with varying accuracy,” said Mathews. “But we stand by our Groundhog as our source for annual predictions of all kinds, including the weather!”

From 2011 to 2014 Chesapeake Chuck forecasted six more weeks of winter. In 2015 that streak was finally broken with an early spring prediction. However, last year Chesapeake Chuck forsaw a longer winter. Will Chesapeake Chuck see his shadow once again or will Hampton Roads residents look forward to an early spring?

Guests will have another opportunity to meet Chesapeake Chuck Saturday, February 4 during the museum event: “Wolf the Predator, Groundhog the Prey: Who Will Win the Day?” Visitors will learn about the unique adaptations that he and his relatives use to survive in a world filled with hungry predators. Chesapeake Chuck will also make his Superbowl prediction at a 1pm ceremony. This special Saturday also features the museum’s newest changing exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, open daily through May 14.

Both events are included in general museum admission. For more information please call (757) 595-1900 or visit


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