Tonawanda News

January 31, 2013

Kenmore Kate wakes again

Staff reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Last Feb. 2, the newly named Kenmore Kate stood stood on the steps of the municipal building and assured the crowds at the Village Green that spring was right around the corner.

What will it be this year?

The second Groundhog Day celebration, sponsored by the Kenmore Village Improvement Society, will take place starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Village Green, Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road. KVIS President Melissa Foster said that the event will include elements from last year, such as music and the special “groundhog habitat” constructed by Kenmore Village Improvement Society member John Hulley, as well as some new features.

“We will have some schoolchildren reading groundhog poems, which is kind of neat,” she said. “We also have photographs with Kenmore Kate afterward. Kenwood Photography is going to take them and then will send the file.”

Unlike last year’s school-day event, children won’t have to rush off to classes, so KVIS has arranged for the Kenmore Village Restaurant, 827 Military Road, and the Plaka Restaurant, 2904 Delaware Ave., to offer breakfast deals that morning, Foster said, providing $2 meals to those who brave the winter morning to see the groundhog prognostication.

“You have to go to the celebration to get the voucher,” she said. “So it’s only for people who go to the event, but it’s good until 11:30 a.m. at either of those restaurants. I thought that was kind of a neat add-on.”

Another thing that’s neat about the Kenmore celebration, Foster said, is that it uses a rather ... nontraditional ... groundhog, as opposed to Kate’s peers in Punxsutawney, Pa., and other locations.

“I hope that people are looking forward to it,” she said. “We’re the only community that I know of in the U.S. that is emphasizing ... letting wild things be wild. We made the decision last year that we didn’t want to get into groundhog husbandry. We weren’t going to keep a groundhog to wake her up for five or 10 minutes a year. That just didn’t seem right.”

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Groundhog Day celebration, sponsored by the Kenmore Village Improvement Society • WHEN: 8 a.m. Saturday • WHERE: Village Green, Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road, Kenmore