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BUCKHANNON – French Creek Freddie is going to get to shine in summer and winter this year.

The committee for the Rock Cave Groundhog Festival has organized a Groundhog Festival Summer Community Celebration in order to raise more money for the festival in February. Secretary of the West Virginia Wildlife Center Judy Channell said this is the first time the summer event has occurred.

“Groundhog Day is Feb. 2, and the winter doesn’t usually cooperate with us, so this is a great opportunity for us to have some outside activities,” Channell said. “Plus, we would like to raise some money for the festival. It’s not a very expensive festival, but we would like to raise a little bit of money, so we decided to have a summer celebration so people keep the festival in mind.”

The celebration is happening Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department.

The event will have food available for purchase from Beverage Knob Smokehouse, which will be serving barbecue alongside the firefighters of the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department, who will be making hot dogs. For dessert, Channell said local CEOS will have an ice cream station where people can make sundaes and banana splits, and Upshur Relay for Life will be having a bake sale.

“We will have entertainment all day with live music as a sort of open mic thing, and when we do take breaks in the music, we will be doing a cake walk, which is always a success because you always have local people who have that one dish that everyone wants like butterscotch pie,” Channell said.

Staff from the Wildlife Center will have several educational activities set up for kids along with several yard games, and mascot French Creek Freddie will be making an appearance at 11:30 a.m.

“The festival has been growing,” Channell said. “We just finished our fourth year, and the 2020 festival will be our fifth Groundhog Festival. We want to help fund our community, our county, and to just have an opportunity to have some fun and socialize and get together.”

The Groundhog Festival has a Facebook page called Groundhog Festival of Rock Cave WV where people can stay updated on events for Groundhog Day and the festival.