Now that the Dallas Arboretum is preparing for Dallas Blooms, the Southwest's largest floral festival, many are wondering when spring arrives in 2020. What better way to find out than to bring in everybody's favorite meteorologist, the groundhog!
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts its second Groundhog Day celebration on Sunday, February 2, 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., in its newest garden, A Tasteful Place, which overlooks White Rock Lake and the Dallas skyline. Those interested in joining the festivities and shadow-watching are welcome to attend the event for free with paid garden admission. General garden admission is $5 from February 1 to 28.
Guests are invited and encouraged to wear any type of hat (Texas-style for Groundhog Day) for a hat contest. Materials are provided on site, and attendees are welcome to further embellish their hats. At the end of the event, a hat contest winner is selected and receives a prize.
Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, "Being a botanical garden and outdoor venue that is open 362 days a year, the Dallas Arboretum revolves around the weather. That said, we want to know whether we'll have an early spring or not, so our groundhog, Arboretum Annie, helps us predict the weather."
According to folklore, if a groundhog comes out of hiding and sees her shadow, she is scared and runs back inside, meaning six more weeks of winter. If she doesn't see her shadow, spring arrives early, which for the Arboretum would be just in time for Dallas Blooms. Themed Sounds of Spring, Dallas Blooms, presented by IBERIABANK, opens on February 29 and runs through April 12, 2020.
For Groundhog Day, guests are encouraged to come as early as 6:30 a.m., where there are breakfast items and beverages available for sale. After the sun rises at approximately 7:22 a.m., Kalee Dionne, WFAA meteorologist and emcee, and Ken Barth, Dallas Arboretum Public Events board chair, releases Arboretum Annie to see if she sees her shadow. After that, guests are welcome to take selfies with the famous groundhog, make groundhog crafts, and watch the iconic "Groundhog Day" movie with Bill Murray.
Barth said, "We invite schools and encourage teachers and parents to help children write and submit a proclamation for the event, just as the Inner Circle in Punxsutawney script one in a language known as 'Groundhogs,' whether he has seen his shadow or not. This proclamation is a contest for any children under 18 years old can participate in, and the selected one is read that morning." For those who would like to participate, up to 200 words can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218). The deadline for submission is January 29, 2020.
About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden is closed through February 28 for preventative maintenance. On-site parking is $15, or $10 if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. It is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.