Gen. Beauregard Lee ready for Groundhog Day


File Photo Annabelle Henry, 7, of Stone Mountain, at left center, Hailey Pruitt, 7, of Sugar Hill, center, and Evie Henry, 5, right, of Stone Mountain, cheer while urging General Beauregard Lee to show himself at sunrise on Groundhog Day at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn last year.


• What: Groundhog Day with Beau

• When: Gates open

7 a.m. Saturday

• Where: Yellow River Game Ranch, 4525 U.S. Highway 78, Lilburn

• Cost: Free

• For more information: Visit www.yellowriverga...

LILBURN -- As an annual tradition, the Yellow River Game Ranch's mascot Gen. Beauregard Lee is preparing himself for the big day. Not the Super Bowl -- Groundhog Day.

On Saturday, the furry brown rodent will exit his tiny two-story Colonial mansion to predict the weather for the next six weeks. If Beau sees his shadow, winter continues until the beginning of March. If there is no shadow, spring blooms early.

Last year, he predicted an early spring.

Yellow River's "Furry Forecaster" makes his prediction just before 8 a.m. when Beau is woken up by the ringing of an antique farm bell to get him out of "Weathering Heights," the groundhog's mansion, which is complete with all the modern-day amenities of a luxurious life including a scaled-down satellite dish in the front yard.

Since becoming a Gwinnett celebrity, Beau has received honorary doctorates from The University of Georgia for "DWP, Doctor of Weather Prognostication" and Georgia State University for "Doctor of Southern Groundology." He has also appeared on several television shows, like "The Today Show" with Willard Scott in 1998 and on the Animal Planet for Groundhog Day 2004.

Attendees are encouraged to make signs, carry stuffed groundhogs and bring any other memorabilia to promote the warmer weather.

Can't make it out the to ranch? No problem.

You can get the weather prediction on Beau's Twitter page, @GameRanch.

Anyone who has a birthday on Saturday will also be granted free admission to the ranch for the day, with proper identification. The ranch closes at 6 p.m. Saturday.