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Milltown Mel won’t be making a return for Groundhog Day 2023

In a disappointing turn of events, there will once again be no prediction from one of New Jersey’s most powerful Groundhog Day forecasters. For the second year in a row, there will be no forecast from Milltown Mel.

Famously the previous Milltown Mel died just prior to Groundhog Day 2022, and his wranglers could not obtain a replacement in time for the holiday.

Back in July the Milltown Mel Facebook page reported that a new Milltown Mel had been acquired. Since that time things had strangely silent, and up until today no announcement about Milltown Mel’s 2023 festivities were made public.

It turns out the reason there has been radio silence is because Mel’s wranglers, despite months of trying, have been unable to obtain permission to have a groundhog at this year’s celebration. According to their Facebook page: “The new groundhog we originally scheduled to have made his debut is currently not allowed to be here according to a state of New Jersey statute.”

We’re deeply saddened to hear this news. We here at Countdown to Groundhog Day were hoping to attend Mel’s celebration this year. Of course we recognize that it’s important to follow whatever rules and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of the groundhog and the wranglers/crowd. Hopefully next year everything will be worked out, and we’ll be able to welcome a new Milltown Mel to the Groundhog Day forecaster club.

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