While the nation’s eyes were turned toward a ground hog on Gobbler’s Knob in the hills of Central Pennsylvania, another rodent was doing some prognosticating in Dupont Circle.
On Thursday morning, a small crowd gathered to see what “Potomac Phil” would do. To set the mood, polka music was played.
The event’s organizers said Potomac Phil is a cousin of the nationally famous Punxsutawney Phil, and shares his relative’s penchant for weather forecasting. The biggest difference between the two critters, aside from geography, is that Punxsutawney Phil is a live ground hog, and Potomac Phil is stuffed.
At 8:30 a.m., a group wearing suits and top hats huddled around Potomac Phil near the fountain in Dupont Circle. His forecast, as translated by his handlers: six more weeks of winter are on the way, and nine more months of political gridlock.
The Ground Hog Day event was put together by the group Dupont Festival. The non-profit group has put on group dance events in the past and the famous snowball fight in 2010.