At precisely 07:59 this morning (Official Park Time), 2013 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS) Bastiaan Groundhog predicted an early Spring for The Park.
The POPS, who left his burrow at 07:57, greeted well-wishers as he walked to the official prognostication mound. When he arrived at the mound, he waved to the crowd, stood still for one minute, failed to see his shadow, and proclaimed an early Spring. The official proclamation was signed at 08:00.
“I’m glad it’s over,” the Groundhog said to reporters and festival-goers, as he made his way toward the stands for the Archons’ address. He took his place in the front row, just behind the lectern and beside the other 34 Archons.
“The pressure was enormous. Unless you’ve been POPS, you can’t really understand that. I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders,” he said.
After the festivities, the POPS confirmed his plans to return to his burrow until the official end of hibernation on February 19.
“I need the rest,” he said.