ASHEVILLE NC – Grady the Groundhog, Chimney Rock‘s live animal ambassador, will be making his annual prediction at the Park when he awakens from his winter slumber on Saturday, February 2. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to an educational program and shadow sighting in the Meadows, followed by kids’ crafts and family guided hikes. If Grady sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter weather ahead—but if not, then spring should be around the corner! Cast your vote on whether he’ll see his shadow at chimneyrockpark.com.
Reduced admission during the waterfall trail closure is $12 adult and $6 youth (ages 5-15); free for kids 4 and under. For special admission on Feb. 2, get one free youth admission with each paid adult. During February, Grady’s Kids Club memberships are on sale for only $8.
“Grady’s Groundhog Day is like Groundhog Awareness Day,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Manager at Chimney Rock. “Grady is a local celebrity—the kids love him! We hope everyone gains a better understanding of and appreciation for these popular woodland critters.
Grady’s Groundhog Day. Join Emily Walker, Chimney Rock’s Education Manager, at 11 a.m. near the Classroom on the Meadows for a nature program on the life of groundhogs and the Groundhog Day tradition, followed by Grady’s shadow sighting. Half-hour guided family hikes will start at noon and 12:30 p.m. on the Great Woodland Adventure trail. Kids’ Groundhog Day crafts will be offered from noon to 1 p.m.
Vote Online. Will Grady give the same prediction as Punxsutawney Phil? Or will he daringly give his own prediction about winter’s claim on the weather? Cast your vote online whether you think Grady will see his shadow at chimneyrockpark.com. Then attend the event or check back on the Park’s website or Facebook page on February 2 to see if you guessed correctly.
Grady’s Kids Club Special. To celebrate Grady’s special day, Chimney Rock is offering a discount on memberships to Grady’s Kids Club, the Annual Pass for youth, for only $8 during February—and it’s been extended to 18 months. For just 44 cents a month, kids ages 5-15 get unlimited visits to the Park for 18 months, discounts on Park food, retail and events and additional savings at favorite area attractions. Buy your kid’s pass online, by phone at (800) 277-9611 or at the park during February 1-28, 2013.
Animal Fun. Adjacent to the Great Woodland Adventure, a popular TRACK Trail for kids, is Grady’s Animal Discovery Den. It’s home to a handful of live animal habitats, including snakes, an opossum and Grady the Groundhog. These critters are stars in some of the park’s education programs for schools, homeschoolers and scouts. The Den also features hands-on, kid-friendly displays of furs and skulls from native animals, including deer, skunks and turtles.
This is the fifth year of Chimney Rock’s annual Groundhog Day event but only the third with Grady as the star of the show. The official Groundhog Day can be traced back to 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pa. For more information on Chimney Rock’s hands-on education programs for schools, homeschoolers and scouts, as well as summer camps, visit chimneyrockpark.com/education.
About Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. Beyond its stunning 75-mile views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock offers scenic hiking, rock climbing, Grady’s Animal Discovery Den and educational events year-round. It’s the only state park in the Southeast with an elevator inside a mountain. The park’s 404-foot waterfall was featured in The Last of the Mohicans’ final 17 minutes. Chimney Rock is located only 40 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.