Updated: Feb 22
Friday, February 2, 2007 at 7:00 a.m. (February 2nd commonly known as Groundhog Day) Vermonters (including Governor Jim Douglas) assembled at Rusty’s Park. The rallying message was read “In righteous indignation, WDEV FM & AM is determined to correct a great injustice of history. While Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is famous for commercializing the annual natural prediction of the beginning of Spring with Groundhog Day, the great state of Vermont has been denied its rightful position of actual prognosticator of such things. The real and actual Vermont Woodchuck needs to be established so the actual prediction of when Spring will arrive can be made with a greater degree of accuracy and certainty.” Bruce Aschenbach of Hardwick was selected the official Vermont Woodchuck by popular acclamation. He then predicted 12 more weeks of winter.
When the Groundhog Day organizers in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania learned of the plans of Vermont to organize Woodchuck Day, the response was “we thought of it first, Vermonters can bug off.” In response, Woodchucks in attendance greeted each other with a surly “Bug off!”
Over its eight-year run, Woodchuck Day raised money for the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation.