Georgia groundhog predicts early spring and a Falcons win

Gen. Beauregard Lee wiggled awake at Gwinnett County’s Yellow River Game Ranch early Thursday to find no shadow, meaning an early spring.

>> Read more trending news  

Chopper the Groundhog, the Gwinnett Braves’ mascot, was the honorary guest to "wake up" Beau. 

The crowd gathered before dawn at the ranch to chant "Go Beau" to get the groundhog out of his enclosure. 

Related: Law enforcement: Beware of fake Super Bowl tickets

Once he scurried out of his groundhog-sized antebellum mansion, Beau walked around the grounds for about a minute before ranch staff declared he had not seen his shadow. 

Lee's prediction should not come as a surprise. 

Since the first day of winter, Atlanta has had 15 days of temps in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service.

>>For complete coverage of Super Bowl LI, click here   

Beau also "predicted" the Falcons will beat the New England Patriots 42-21.

Dozens of people attended the event, some with "Go Beau" signs and groundhog hats. Children crowded around the fence surrounding Beau's cage, excited to see the rodent's prediction. 

This was the 37th annual Groundhog Day at Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn.

That other famous rodent, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.