DENVER (KDVR) — Who needs a groundhog when one local city has a stuffed marmot?
On Friday, the city of Boulder takes on its own Groundhog Day tradition with a slightly different, twist known as Flatiron Freddy.
Flatiron Freddy makes his annual debut on Feb. 2 to predict the length of the winter season.
Believe it or not, this Boulder tradition has gone on for over 11 years.
Flatiron Freddy’s story starts in the early 2010s in Boulder’s Flagstaff Nature Center where the deceased, stuffed yellow-bellied marmot lived at the time.
Usually, the stuffed animal mounts are stored in the center until the spring, but one winter Freddy was accidentally left outside to bear Colorado’s cold winter. The elements damaged his fur, and he was going to be removed from the center – but rangers had a different idea.
Now, the stuffed marmot arrives in Boulder each year with a forecast from Open Space and Mountain Park Rangers. It’s sort of the same concept as Groundhog Day, but it’s even weirder as taxidermy.
Historically, Freddy is known to appear for his prediction in unconventional ways. He’s arrived through canoe, fire engine, bobsled, skis, zip lines as well as through magical stumps and holes.
Last year, he was flown in by an eagle (which was really a drone).
This year, Freddy’s expected again at the Open Space and Mountain Parks Ground Hog Day tradition at 8 a.m.