Shubenacadie Sam

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Shubenacadie Sam is a famous Canadian groundhog who lives at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in the town of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. Every February 2, on Groundhog Day, Sam's shadow is closely observed at 08:00 AST to make the traditional prediction whether there will be an early spring. Due to Nova Scotia's Atlantic timezone, Sam makes the first Groundhog Day prediction in North America.[1]

The prediction ceremony is heralded by a bagpiper and town crier and draws an early-morning festive crowd of families and visitors. He is also joined by his Cape Breton groundhog cousin "Two Rivers Tunnel" at the Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Mira River, Nova Scotia).


The Shubenacadie Sam tradition began about 1987 and differs from most other famous groundhogs as he is not woken from hibernation for Groundhog Day.[2] Shubenacadie Sam most recently predicted an early spring at his appearance in February 2017.[3] Park employee Carole Custance has been the caretaker for Shubenacadie Sam and the park's groundhogs for almost 17 years. She provides breakfast for the groundhog, usually yogurt and melon. Custance also reads to the groundhog who has been designated an advocate for Family Literacy Day. Shubenacadie Sam usually draws around 200 spectators for his prediction.[4]

Past predictions[edit]

2017 "Early Spring"[5]
2016 "Early Spring"[6]
2015 “Long Winter"[7]
2014 “Early Spring"[8] [9]
2013 “Long winter"[10]
2012 "Early spring"[11]
2011 "Early spring"[12]
2010 "Long winter"[13]
2009 "Long winter"[14]
2008 "Early Spring"[15]
2007 "Early spring"[16]
2006 "Early Spring"[17]


While Shubenacadie offers the earliest prediction every year, it is one of many towns throughout North America known for their winter-predicting groundhogs. The most famous is Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The most famous Canadian is Wiarton Willie. Sam shares the Nova Scotia prediction every year with "Two Rivers Tunnel" in Cape Breton. Other Canadian groundhogs include "Brandon Bob" of Brandon, Manitoba, and "Gary the Groundhog" in Kleinburg, Ontario.


  1. ^ "Shubenacadie Sam to Make Annual Prediction" Nova Scotia Government Dept. of Natural Resources Press Release Jan. 28, 2010
  2. ^ "N.S. Groundhog Dodges Hiberation in Heated House", Novanet News Now, Feb. 2, 2007
  3. ^ Cassie Williams, "Shubenacadie Sam says it's going to be an early spring" ‘’CBC‘’ February 2, 2017
  4. ^ Raissa Tetanish, "Shubenacadie Sam gearing up for his big day", Truro Daily News, February 1, 2016
  5. ^ Cassie Williams, "Shubenacadie Sam says it's going to be an early spring" ‘’CBC‘’ February 2, 2017
  6. ^ "Shubenacadie Sam doesn't see shadow, predicts early spring" ‘’CBC‘’ February 2, 2016
  7. ^ "Shubenacadie Sam predicts 6 more weeks of winter” ‘’CBC’’ February 2, 2015
  8. ^ "Groundhog Day 2014: Wiarton Willie, Punxsutawney Phil, Shubenacadie Sam Make Their Forecasts” ‘’Huffington Post Canada’’ February 2, 2014
  9. ^ "Groundhog Day predictions mixed for early spring", CBC News Feb. 2, 2014
  10. ^ “Shubenacadie Sam sees shadow, says embrace winter” ‘’Chronicle Herald’’ Truro Bureau, February 2, 2013
  11. ^ “Groundhog Day 2012: Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam predict early spring; Punxsutawney Phil calls for more winter” ‘’National Post’’, February 2, 2012
  12. ^ “Shubenacadie Sam Does Not See Shadow”, ‘’Ducks Unlimited’’, Feb. 2, 2011
  13. ^ “Shubenacadie Sam sees shadow”, ‘ ‘Chronicle Herald Live’ ‘, February 2, 2010
  14. ^ "No surprises as Wiarton Willy and pals predict more winter". London Free Press (London, ON). February 2, 2009.
  15. ^ “No shadow for Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam - early end to Canadian winter” Feb. 2, 2008
  16. ^ “Groundhogs Sam, Willie and Phil say spring is near” ‘ ‘CTV News’ ‘ February 2, 2007
  17. ^ "Shubie Sam says no more winter”, CBC News, Feb. 2, 2006

External links[edit]