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Balzac Billy returns for 11th annual groundhog day breakfast

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 01:08 pm

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After predicting an early spring in 2013, Balzac Billy is gearing up for his time in the spotlight once again.

The Balzac Business Community Association (BBCA) will host the 11th annual Groundhog Day breakfast on Feb. 2 at Bluegrass Nursery and Garden Centre.

Residents from Airdrie, Balzac, and surrounding areas are invited to come and enjoy a pancake breakfast, live entertainment and welcome Balzac Billy as he emerges from his winter hibernation to let everyone know whether or not spring is on its way.

Last year, the event saw several hundred people turn up as Billy, who is a Richardson ground squirrel, emerged from his burrow and did not see his shadow, indicating that southern Albertans would see an early spring.

“I believe Billy has about an 80 per cent prediction accuracy rate, so I’m hoping he doesn’t see his shadow this year and we get another early spring, especially after all the snow we’ve had this winter,” said James Moller, president of the BBCA.

Miss Rodeo Canada, Nicole Briggs and Miss Rodeo Airdrie, Kelsey Reinboldt-Lynch will be on hand when the event kicks off at 7 a.m. with a catered breakfast and Tim Hortons coffee.

Live entertainment will be provided by the Jeske Band, but the star of the day will undoubtedly be Balzac Billy, who makes his home, along with about 19 other members of his colony on a hectare of land surrounding Balzac Community Hall.

Moller is excited for this year’s event and hopes to see another great turn out.

“This event has been proudly supported for a number of years by our residents and a number of community partners,” said Moller. “Hopefully we get a great turn out, it’s going to be a great time.”


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