Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning at the Groundhog Day ceremony in western Pennsylvania, officially predicting six more weeks of winter.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

And nobody in Arizona cares.

Well, a few folks care. Pennsylvania transplants may give a hoot, as would those from surrounding regions who beg winter to be on its merry way.

I care – but I’m also originally from Michigan and spent 17 years in New York, where spring is synonymous with heaven. I’m also a big softie for rodents. My dad, still in Michigan, and I even bet on the Groundhog Day’s outcome every year. He now owes me $1. blogger and Hawaiian native Carolyn Classen cares, as she gave a nod to the furry creature’s day in her morning post. Yaay, Carolyn.

But I also recall my first year in Tucson when I bid others “Happy Groundhog Day” and was met with blank stares or, better yet, “What’s a groundhog?”

Since Tucson’s winter is similar to Midwestern and Eastern spring – and since Arizona has no groundhogs – we can’t really fault locals for not bothering with it.

Perhaps we could boost interest in Groundhog Day if we took our cues from a couple of other states.

We could go for our own personal groundhog, like New York City does, and to hell with Phil. We could ship in a groundhog, name him something like Tucson Tommy, and house him at the Reid Park Zoo. The Big Apple has Staten Island Chuck, who is one big bundle of fun. Last year he bit New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Another option would be to follow Alaska’s lead and switch it to a different animal. Alaska now has Marmot Day, thanks to a bill introduced by Sen. Linda Menard and signed by that former governor who had delusions of becoming a vice president.

Javelina Day anyone?

Since Arizona already has a few cool concepts in place – like the lack of Daylight Saving Time and driver’s licenses that don’t expire for 35 years – it may only be a matter of time before Groundhog Day gets proper recognition.


What do you think?

Do you care about Groundhog Day? Why or why not?

Do you care about anything?