Brevard, North Carolina self-proclaims itself new epi-center of Groundhog (White Squirrel) Day festivities

Pisgah Pete, Brevard's furry, white, nut-loving mascot. Photo courtesy of Ann Sharpsteen

Press release from Ann Sharpsteen:

BREVARD, NORTH CAROLINA (January 29, 2016) – For the second year in a row, Brevard’s beloved ambassador white squirrel, Pisgah Pete, will take the helm at the City of Brevard’s Groundhog Day festivities, dubbed by local residents “White Squirrel Day,” instead. The cute furry town mascot will not only predict whether there will be six more weeks of winter, but will also answer the all-important question North Carolinians are clamoring to ask, “Will the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl?”

“We’re thrilled that Brevard has become the new epi-center of Groundhog Day,” said Ann Sharpsteen, one of the event’s organizers. “Pisgah Pete is picking up the slack where, let’s admit it, Punxsatawny Phil has fallen short. Phil’s accuracy rate is completely dismal and he’s just a one-trick pony.” Brevard’s Pisgah Pete will also make predictions at the February 2nd event on questions posed to him from audience members. “Pete is very accommodating and happy to answer any questions asked of him,” explains Pete’s handler and wild-life rehabilitator, Jennifer Burgin.

Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris will be on hand at the event to read a proclamation memorializing the day as “White Squirrel Day.” WSQL radio personality Don Debiase will officiate the ceremony (top hat and all) during a live broadcast on the town’s “White Squirrel” radio station (102.1 FM, 1240 AM). And, Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney will be on hand to distribute “Wanted” posters for Punxsatawny Phil, notifying the public that all deputies will be on the lookout for Phil and have been given permission to arrest, should the Punxsatawny troublemaker dare to show his face in Transylvania County.

Yep, Brevardians take Groundhog Day (excuse me, White Squirrel Day) seriously.

“It’s going to be a fun, whimsical event, just like it was last year,” said Lisa Patty Abbey, another of the event’s organizers.

When: February 2nd, 2016 – 9 am

Where: Jaime’s Creole Brasserie, outdoor patio, 44 E. Main Street, Brevard

Why: To raise money and awareness for Brevard’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators. These hard-working volunteers rescue, save and nurse our squirrels back to health and do all of their work with NO financial assistance, paying for medical supplies, medications, and food out of their own pockets. Anyone interested in donating funds to help, can write a check out to “Heart of Brevard White Squirrel Fund” and 100% of the funds will go to reimburse wildlife rehabilitators’ expenses. People may also adopt a white squirrel through the Heart of Brevard for $25.


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