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Will Kenmore Kate see her shadow?

BY: Tiffany Monde, Tonawanda Source | January 16, 2013

KENMORE - At 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 the Kenmore Village Improvement Society will be hosting a Groundhog Day celebration on the village green.

“It started off with a Facebook posting “well Puxsutawney has Phil, Dunkirk has Dave what would we name our groundhog if we had one,” said Melissa Foster, president of KVIS. “That led to one thing or another and so we learned that we didn’t know anything about groundhog husbandry and ultimately decided not to do a live real groundhog and instead have a costumed one.”

The first official Groundhog Day celebration took place Feb. 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, PA. It was the idea of a local newspaper editor who sold the idea to a group of businessman and groundhog hunters, known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. They went to the site known as Gobbler’s Knob where the groundhog gave its first bad news by seeing its shadow.

Groundhogs spend the winter hibernating in their burrows, vastly reducing their metabolic rate and body temperature and by February may have lost half their weight.

After research Foster said the costume idea was better to them.

“We decided to let wild things be wild and that it wasn’t fair to keep one just to have it come out during its hibernation period for five minutes. We really wanted to encourage the children to be aware that wild things should be wild,” said Foster

Foster said the children seem to really love this event encouraging parents to get there early because children really try to get the best spots.

She said they made a habitat, a six foot tall stump, with rounded ‘Kenmore type doors’ in it and that’s where Kenmore Kate is.

“The mayor is there and he knocks on her door and she comes out and does all the prognosticating and everything,” said Foster.

This year the KVIS arranged for a $2 breakfast at the Palatka and the Village Restaurant. Children can also get their photo taken with Kenmore Kate.

Foster is very excited for the event this year and hopes to see residents out with their kids to celebrate.

“You should just see all these kids it’s just a riot on the village green, it’s wild,” said Foster.

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