Saturday's Summer Celebration to benefit Groundhog Festival


ROCK CAVE — French Creek Freddie is making a summer appearance at the Summer Celebration tomorrow as part of an effort to raise funds for the annual Groundhog Festival.

The celebration is set to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There may have been dissent amongst those attending the 42nd Annual Groundhog Day Celebration this past February at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center when French Creek Freddie emerged from his winter sleep only to see his shadow briefly and proclaim six more weeks of winter. He most definitely won’t see his shadow tomorrow when he makes his appearance as part of the Summer Celebration at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department in Rock Cave, and sponsored by the 2019 Groundhog Festival.

Freddie is scheduled to make an appearance 11 a.m.

The event will include free admission, free games and many activities for kids, along with free door prizes. According to one of the event organizers, Jo Ann Hawkins, “bring a lawn chair enjoy music all day long.” There will be many food choices from ice cream by the Rock Cave CEOS club to BDVFD hotdogs to pulled pork with all the sides from Gibson’s Beverage Knob Smokehouse. Additionally, Hawkins noted folks should brush up on their cornhole and horseshoe skills and get ready to play. Relay for Life Team IGA will have a bake sale from 10 a.m. until all items are sold. The bake sale for Team IGA will include cakes, candy, pepperoni rolls, and much more. All funds raised by Team IGA will benefit the Upshur County Relay for Life coming up soon.

The Rock Cave CEOS club will be serving ice cream from noon to 5 p.m. Items include ice cream cones, sundaes, and banana splits. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the BDVFD will be selling hotdogs with all the trimmings at the fire department.

Local crafters will be selling their wares from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the fire department.

During February’s Groundhog Festival, Buckhannon Mayor David McCauley addressed those in attendance with a positive message regarding the relationship between Buckhannon and Upshur County. He noted how important the relationship between the City and county is to one another. He also presented Jo Ann and Glenn Hawkins with the first Buckhannon-Upshur Community Unity Award and said there will be a Community Unity bench placed next to the city’s French Creek Freddie statue with a placard bearing the Hawkins’ names to honor the couple.

“The Hawkins’ service to our community is extensive and legendary,” McCauley said. “Glenn and Jo Ann have been instrumental to the success in primary sponsors and supporters of such events and organizations as the annual Central Lions Clubs groundhog sausage and pancake breakfast, SUBA, the all-veterans memorial, the annual Groundhog Festival, the West Virginia Wildlife Center and the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department,”

“This is very unexpected,” Jo Ann Hawkins said. “We do what we do because want to serve the community.”

The Summer celebration is another way to continue to serve the community, and support several local organizations plus the Groundhog Festival.

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