By BRIAN BONILLA
Chuck the Staten Island Groundhog took a trip to Times Square on Thursday.
After not seeing his shadow, predicting an early spring (unlike Punxsutawney Phil who did see his shadow), Chuck visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not! In Times Square, as they celebrated their 10-year anniversary by opening a new exhibit featuring the original New Year’s Eve centennial countdown ball.
The exhibit which allows visitors to experience News Year’s Eve any day of the year can be seen as an Ode to the movie Groundhog Day. While the movie doesn’t star New York City’s favorite groundhog, Chuck did get the star treatment at Ripley’s event as he was greeted with applause. Chuck was never removed from his glass case, however to the disappointment of some of the people in attendance.
“Ripley’s was excited to have Chuck here. Chuck was supposed to come out of his cage, so I’m sad he didn’t do that, but I guess he had a busy day,” Stacy Shuster, Director of Marketing and Sales for Ripley’s, said.
This could be a precaution taken because of the incident Mayor De Blasio had in 2014 when he dropped Chuck’s granddaughter, Charlotte, during his first groundhog ceremony. Charlotte died a few days later and while some attribute this to De Blasio’s accident the Staten Island Zoo had denied those claims. De Blasio chose not to attend the Zoo’s ceremony this morning for the second year in a row despite not having any schedule conflicts.
De Blasio isn’t the only New York City mayor who has had issues on Groundhog Day. In 2009, Chuck bit former mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Chuck may not be a big fan New York City Mayor’s but an early spring would surely be welcomed by all New Yorker’s alike.