Two groundhogs in York County will make their much-anticipated prognostications on Saturday, predicting whether spring will arrive early this year.

The public is welcome to join in the Groundhog Day festivities.

In York City, Poor Richard's 85th prognostication will begin with a 6:30 a.m. pre-ceremony gathering at the Elks Lodge No. 213, 223 N. George Street.

The ceremony begins at sunrise, around 7:15 a.m., with the annual reciting of the Groundhog pledge, induction of new groundhog lodge members and finally the reading of the weather predictions.

History: The York Slumbering Groundhog Lodge is the second-oldest Groundhog Lodge in the country and prides itself on carrying on the tradition of the groundhog predicting the weather for the next six weeks of winter.

York's Poor Richard has rarely been wrong, a news release said.

Members of the York Slumbering Groundhog Lodge live by a creed of sharing fellowship and good memories, and takes pride in the belief that we should protect our land, resources and each other, the release said.

George "Skip" Lehmann, Exalted Communicator, will present the five readings from Poor Richard, including a large prediction, as well as one for the north, south, east and west.

Up the road: Dover Township's groundhog, Dover Doug, will give his 11th annual prognostication at 7 a.m. at the Dover Community Park, 2481 West Canal Road.

There will be a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Dover Community Building.


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Tickets are $8 at the door for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and free for children two and under.

Last year the event was on a weekday, so it included a spaghetti dinner, and about 200 people attended, said Kristal Kennedy, director of parks and recreation for Dover Township.

Kennedy expects an even larger turnout with the event being on a Saturday morning this year.

The event alternates with hosting a spaghetti dinner for years that Groundhog Day is on a weekday, and a pancake breakfast when it falls on a weekend, said Kennedy.

"Dover Doug lives in his burrow behind the log house and you can sometimes see him eating greenery in the summertime," said Kennedy.

Dover Doug will visit students at Leib Elementary School on Friday and children at the Dover Area Community Library on Tuesday.

He makes other appearances throughout the year at township events and is currently working with the Public Works Department to raise awareness about recycling, said Kennedy.

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com