‘Harleysville Hank’ to make prediction Feb. 2

‘Harleysville Hank’ to make prediction Feb. 2

HARLEYSVILLE – It’s been a mild winter so far, but how long will it last? A local icon might soon tell us.

Harleysville Hank, who has been predicting the end of winter for years, prepares to do it again.

The big day is Thursday February 2nd with celebrations starting at 6:45am at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville.

“Before that there is coffee, a small program around 7am, followed by hot fresh Scrapple with apple butter. Hank will be making his prognosis, and we’ll also have groundhog songs and plenty of top hats,” said Regina Wenger, Mennonite Heritage Center education curator.

Harleysville Order of the Grundsow (HOG) Clerk (Secretary) Randy Nyce Holds Harleysville Hank as Hauptman (Chairman) Steven Hunsberger relays Hank’s prediction of an early spring in February 2022. (MediaNews Group file)

2023 will be Hank’s ninth year predicting the rest of the winter and his performances will be presented by the Harleysville Order of the Grundsow and hosted by the Mennonite Heritage Center and the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce. Each year, Hank makes his prediction in the reconstructed barn at the Heritage Center.

In 2020, Hank didn’t see a shadow due to fog, instead “predicting” an early spring and then making his prediction virtually in 2021 before returning to meet in person in 2022.

So far this month, Hank has been busy with preparations: Visiting seniors at Souderton Mennonite Homes on January 4th followed by a visit to Telford Veterinary Hospital on January 10th, taking cooking classes at the Franconia Heritage Banquet and Conference Center, purchasing on January 12th. January equipment at Bergey’s Electric and volunteered for MLK Day with Souderton’s Salvation Army Chapter on January 17 before stopping by for a juice at the new Sips & Berries restaurant in Harleysville on January 26.

Harleysville Hank stopped by for a juice at Sips & Berries in Harleysville on January 26, 2023. (Submitted photo)

“He’s spending his time with us today – he might be in the barn or somewhere else near the heritage center – but he’s usually doing the rounds the couple of weeks beforehand,” said Wenger.

A senior hugs Harleysville Hank while visiting Souderton Mennonite Homes on January 4, 2023. (Submitted photo)

This year’s Harleysville Hank Groundhog Day Extravaganza will be held at 7:00 am on February 2, with breakfast starting at 6:45 am at the Mennonite Heritage Center. For more information, follow Mennonite Heritage Center Harleysville or follow Harleysville Hank himself on Facebook.

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