The Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations (DHFC) has released the Official Schedule of the 2018 Groundhog Day Celebrations.
At a short press conference this afternoon, DHFC Director of Public Relations Aintza Kanariar used the word, “stupendous,” as she rhymed off the names of the performers, games, acts, and more that will make up what some in The Park consider the most important event of the year.
“There is not only something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s celebration,” she said, “but almost too much.”
Kanariar went even further, saying it was not just the quantity of the “non-stop fun,” but the quality that will make this year’s Groundhog Day memorable.
“After more than thirty-five years of zoocracy, The Park can truthfully say it has an unrivalled depth of talent,” she said. She also joked that the official celebration would “give the Early Risers a run for their money.”
For the past few years, The Park’s Early Risers, who end their hibernation on Groundhog Day instead of on the traditional date of February 19, have hosted legendary after-parties.
Kanariar also announced an addendum to the official schedule, which was released a few days ago.
“We will officially acknowledge the life and work of Egerton Vole, who died on January 25, after serving only nine days as Archon. The Archons’ Address, which will be read by Chief Archon Iolana Camira Whooping Crane, will also include some words about Vole, she said. And a tribute to Vole during the Groundhog Day parade will include a performance by the All Rodent Marching Band, but Kanariar would not say whether a new float would be part of that tribute.
For the first time since their bassist Zuberi Tembo died, the Endeka Elephant Band will play during the parade, as well. There will only be nine band members playing, however, because Árvakur Fíl, the band’s drummer, is serving as Archon this year.
Kanariar said we can expect the parade to include a “host of new floats,” several of which will acknowledge The Park’s endangered species.
New this year will be a poetry reading by members of the Centre for Interspecial Harmony.
In addition to the special appearance by Thisbe and the Barkettes, the following musicians will participate in the event:
The Feral Four
The Canary Cousins
Les Chiens Débraillés
Memes of Production
Eggie and The Pigs
Inktvis and Krake
The All-Rodent Marching Band
The Beasts of Burden
BHR (Big Hearts Rule) formerly NIML (Not In My Lifetime)
As is always the case, one of the most important aspects of the Groundhog Day celebrations will be the food. Renowned Chef Tab Triolore will reprise his “feral buffet” and supply delicious non-perishables from his newly-opened restaurant grassRoutes. Other food purveyors include The Battering Ram Café, The Compost Heap, The Broop ‘n Miaow, The Draft, The Pound Gastropub, and The Cackling Goose Tavern. Mikko Tikkeri’s The Feeding Station will serve a full breakfast just after the Archons’ Address. Ants in Your Pantry and Provisions by Petrounel will send all attendees home with tasty party favours.
And, again, this year, food will be served for twenty-four hours straight.
“We’re going through from eight in the morning on the second [of February] until eight in the morning on the third,” Kanariar said.
And, don’t forget: the events will be covered live by Mammalian Daily reporters here on Twitter.