“Six more weeks of Tourists!”
That’s according to Cap Peterson the Editor of Cahoots Newspaper and the organizer of the Groundhog Day Plunge in Hollywood Beach, Florida,
Thirteen years and still going strong, Groundhog Day morning brings crowd to Ocean Alley Restaurant right on the Boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida for a great breakfast followed by a plunge in the ocean.
“It’s a celebration of a goofy tradition. If it takes more than a minute to explain Groundhog Day to you, you’re not going to get it. It’s for a good cause, supporting our Hollywood Beach Lifeguard Competition Team. Thought the plunge would be fun,” Cap said.
The participants don’t seem to mind either. Cap says, “A lot of snowbirds dig it.” This isn’t a big surprise given that the average temperature in South Florida has already bottomed out at 76° and is climbing. The water is an inviting 77° so while Punxsutawney and the entire northeast grab their winter coats to see if the Groundhog sees his shadow when the sun comes up, those who make the trip to Hollywood Beach only have to decide if they will run or walk into the ocean with the symbolic groundhog.
The groundhog itself is the one connection to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The self-proclaimed “World’s biggest groundhog suit” is shipped south from that tiny little town in central Pennsylvania just for the beach plunge. The only requirement the renter has to the lessee is to not return the suit with sand in the feet.
Forecasting the continuation of winter for 2 versus 6 weeks may mean nothing to those residing in South Florida on a February morning, but for those who want the novelty minus the cold, it is the perfect spot.