Unadilla Bill Celebrates Foggiest Groundhog’s Day Ever

UNADILLA – The promise of an early spring was in the air Saturday at Nebraska’s Groundhog Capital.

The renowned groundhog Unadilla Bill had no chance of seeing his shadow at sunrise Saturday and Groundhog Central Committee fixture Dale Henke called it the warmest and foggiest groundhog celebration ever.

The reigning king and queen Ron Fechner and Rachel Zahn agreed.

Zahn: “I think so.” Fechner: “It’s the warmest and the foggiest at the same time. That’s what we need for an earlier spring.”

Announcer Perry Stoner reported a temperature of 44 degrees and a gentle breeze at 10 mph at parade time. The color guard  marched through the fog to start the parade.

Royalty candidates this year were Mark Czapla, Ralph Maloy, Jack Stilwell, Jodie West, Rachel Zeiger Ruehlin and Dawn Clark Dettmer.

Bill Brandt drove the Ford Falcon, the official car of the festival. The Model A Ford Club of Lincoln also made a showing. The birthday car, with Feb. 2 birthday celebrators, followed.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and State Sen. Julie Slama, as well as the Syracuse girls state track champions, were among dignitaries in the parade.

Visibility due to the fog was just over two city blocks.