Groundhog’s Day only comes once a year, and there’s only one groundhog I trust to predict the weather…Milltown Mel!
Milltown Mel is local Milltown hero. Every year the folks of the small town of Milltown (Middlesex County) gather together at 7am to greet Milltown Mel as they all anxiously await to see if he’ll see his shadow. It was the first year I was able to attend the ceremony in person, and I must say it was a lot of fun.
It’s a short ceremony but a honored one. The Milltown Groundhog Wranglers present Milltown Mel to an excited crowd who are happy to see him.
The wranglers wear suits and top hats, and the crowd also joins in wearing top hats as well. This year they even welcomed their first female groundhog wrangler, Amy Battaglia, who was introduced to an excited crowed with posters and flowers. So yay for progress.
As the famous groundhog is about to give his prediction the crowd goes WILD. The kids and adults are chanting!
The crowd gets it’s wish…Mel has not seen his shadow and predicts an early Spring. The “other” famous groundhog aka Punxsutawney Phil disagreed with Milltown Mel, but I have faith that Mel got it right.
Milltown has been doing their annual Groundhog Day celebration for the last 8 years. Milltown Mel: A Groundhog’s Story was published in 2012 by Milltown resident and Mel’s owner Jerry Guthlein. Although the original Milltown Mel passed away in 2015, the new Mel has been doing a good job taking over his legacy.
Although this was my first year attending the celebration it will definitely not be my last. It was a lot of fun seeing the town get so involved in Groundhog Day and admiring their local hero.
After the ceremony the town residents congregated inside the American Legion and had free coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts.
Overall, a fantastic Groundhog’s Day and a great way to kick off February.