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Marmot Day
by Stormy on February 02, 2010

Did you know that there's actually a day for marmots themselves?

It turns out that some twenty years ago Dr. Curt Menard, a former Alaska state legislator, proposed February 2 to be observed as Marmot Day in Alaska. The idea was to promote Alaska as a unique place. There are no groundhogs in Alaska, but there are plenty of marmots, cousins to groundhogs. The bill struggled, stuck in committee, and eventually died. In 2009 Linda Menard, Dr. Menard's wife and a present day senator in the Alaska State Legislature reintroduced the bill and this time it passed, officially replacing Groundhog Day with Marmot Day in Alaska. February 2, 2010 is the first time that Marmot Day is being officially celebrated through education and tourism promotions. The Alaska Zoo is one of the main supporters of the new holiday. At this time there are no weather predicting marmots in Alaska, but then again this probably isn't a priority in a state where winter lasts ten months. In Alaska it's generally safe to say that winter will be continuing for six more months, with an option to renew. Marmots are masters of predicting warm weather, though. Hibernation ends when weather is good enough for grasses to start growing again. Then winter is over. It's quite an accomplishment to get your own holiday on the calendar. Way to go, Alaskan marmots!

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