Quebec’s Groundhog Day Festivities Went Sideways Fast When The Groundhog Turned Up Dead

If you were hoping for a sign that winter is coming to an end, maybe ignore how things are going up in Canada because it’s pretty bleak. During their annual Groundhog Day celebration, the city of Quebec went to pull out their celebrity rodent, Fred la Marmotte, only to discover that he had gone on to see the great shadow in the sky, if you know what we mean.

Via Montreal Gazette:

“This year, things will be done differently,” said La Jour de Fred committee organizer Roberto Blondin on the event’s livestream. “I’m announcing the death of Fred. It’s sadly true.”

Children and adults attending the early-morning ceremony gasped when they heard the news.

“Everyone was very sad. You could see it on their faces,” said Renée Laurendeau, a spokesperson for the event, which is held every Feb. 2 in the Gaspé town of Val-d’Espoir.

In a quick effort to recover from finding their town’s groundhog dead on Groundhog Day, the organizers pulled a small child on stage, slapped a stuffed toy groundhog in her hand, and had her tell people that it’s… going to be a late spring. (Damn, Canada.)

As for the cause of Fred’s death, he was getting up there in years and the on-site veterinarian believes he died during hibernation. A new groundhog will take Fred’s place next year. In the meantime, Twitter had a freaking field day dunking on Canada for what’s surely a devastating winter to come. For real, no good can come of this.

(Via Montreal Gazette)