Forget Groundhogs: Alaska Celebrates Marmot Day

Alaska now has its own version of Groundhog Day.

Then-Gov. Sarah Palin signed a bill last year to make every Feb. 2 Marmot Day in Alaska, legislation introduced by state Sen. Linda Menard, a Wasilla Republican.

Because there are no groundhogs in Alaska, Menard says it made sense for the ground squirrel to become Alaska's version of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog famed for his winter weather forecasts.

Menard's bill didn't give marmots any weather forecasting duties, but she hopes the state will create educational activities around the animal.