Groundhog Day is a uniquely Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. As such, it’s only fitting that Lebanon County celebrates the event with similar gusto to our Punxsutawney brethren.

You might already know Uni from our feature story last week. A tradition maintained by the Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17 since 1981, ‘Uni’ (named after the Union Canal) cruises the Tulpehocken Creek each Groundhog Day, to the delight of Myerstown residents.

Read More: ‘Uni’ isn’t short for unique, but it could be

There’s also Mt. Gretna’s Grady, who debuted in Feb. 2018. Grady did not see his shadow Sunday and thereby predicted an early spring.

LebTown reader Lois Herr submitted this photo of Grady at the event (held at the Mt. Gretna Fire Department Social Hall), along with one of ABC27 meteorologist Eric Finkenbinder interpreting Grady’s forecast.

Uni, on the other hand, did see has shadow at Myerstown’s recognition of Groundhog Day, held Saturday, and as such called for six more weeks of winter.

Groundhog Day has been celebrated in Lebanon County for at least a century and likely back into the 1800’s.

Lebanon Daily News, Front Page, Feb. 2, 1911
Lebanon Daily News, Page Three, July 19, 1930
Lebanon Daily News, Front Page, Feb. 2, 1954

LebTown was in Myerstown on Saturday to capture photos of Uni’s annual appearance.

All photos by LebTown photographer Will Trostel.

Uni’s annual appearance occurred Saturday morning, Feb. 1, at Myerstown Recreation Area. The Tulpehocken Creek flows through the park.
One of many event participants from Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17.
Uni prior to his sendoff downstream. Note the cell phone in Uni’s right hand, part of a new modernized look for the patriotic groundhog.
Guests also displayed signs that were made for the day.
A bell was rung to announce the start of the event.
Uni was set afloat down the canal.
Guests look on while Uni is sent downstream.
Uni travels down a stretch of the Tulpehocken Creek, formerly part of the Union Canal.
Uni continuing downstream.
Once docked Uni was shown on stage for his verdict.
Members of the Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17 speaking to Uni and relaying his verdict.
Unfortunately, unless you enjoy winter immensely, Uni had some bad news to share – six more weeks to come.
After the event guests had a chance to pose and get photographs with Uni.
The event took place at the Myerstown Recreation Area.
A group shot with Uni and the members of the Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17.

Read more about Uni

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This post was updated with additional photos submitted by LebTown reader Lois Herr.


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