Now that the Dallas Arboretum is preparing for Dallas Blooms, the Southwest’s largest floral festival, many are wondering when spring will arrive in 2019. What better way to find out than to bring in everybody’s favorite meteorologist, the groundhog! The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will host its first Groundhog Day celebration on Saturday, February 2, 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., in its newest garden, A Tasteful Place, which overlooks White Rock Lake and the Dallas skyline. Those interested in joining the festivities and shadow-watching are welcome to attend the event for free with paid garden admission. General garden admission is $5 February 1 to 22.
Guests are invited and encouraged to wear any type of hat (Texas-style for Groundhog Day) for a hat contest. Materials will be provided on site, and attendees are welcome to further embellish their hats. At the end of the event, a hat contest winner will be announced and will receive a prize.
Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum chairman, said, “Being a botanical garden and outdoor venue that is open 362 days a year, the Dallas Arboretum revolves around the weather. That said, we want to know whether we’ll have an early spring, so our groundhog, affectionately named Arboretum Annie, will help us predict the weather.”
According to folklore, if a groundhog comes out of hiding and sees her shadow, she will be scared and run back inside, meaning six more weeks of winter. If she doesn’t see her shadow, spring arrives early, which for the Arboretum would be just in time for Dallas Blooms. Themed Life’s A Picnic, Dallas Blooms, presented by IBERIABANK, opens on February 23 and runs through April 7, 2019.
For Groundhog Day, guests are encouraged to come as early at 7 a.m. where there will be breakfast items and beverages available for sale. After the sun rises at approximately 7:22 a.m., Colleen Coyle, WFAA Channel 8 meteorologist and emcee, and Robin Carreker, Dallas Arboretum Public Events board chair, will release Arboretum Annie to see if she sees her shadow. After that, guests are welcome to take selfies with the famous groundhog, make groundhog crafts and watch the iconic “Groundhog Day” movie with Bill Murray.
Carreker said, “We invite schools and encourage teachers and parents to help children write and submit a proclamation for the event, just as the Inner Circle in Punxsutawney script one in a language known as ‘Groundhogs,’ whether he has seen his shadow or not. This proclamation is a contest for any children under 18 years old can participate in, and the selected one will be read that morning.” For those who would like to participate, up to 200 words can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218). The deadline for submission is January 29, 2019.