MILLTOWN, NJ - Milltown Mel is ready to score a touchdown on 2020's upcoming Groundhog Day! Well, maybe not a touchdown, but the borough's favorite groundhog is ready to make his appearance on Super Bowl Sunday. So, save the date for Milltown's 12th annual Groundhog Day celebration on Sunday, February 2 at American Legion Post #25.
Groundhog Day devotees usually begin gathering at around 6:45 a.m. in the parking lot across the street from American Legion Post #25 on JFK Drive. Mel typically makes his annual appearance to predict whether or not the Garden State will have an early spring or six more weeks of winter around 7:20 a.m. Attendees are invited to warm up following the always fun event with coffee and doughnuts.
The current Milltown Mel took over for his longtime buddy in 2015 when the original Milltown Mel passed quietly in his sleep after making Groundhog Day predictions for seven winters. Thanks to borough residents Jerry and Cathy Guthlein, the original owners of Milltown Mel, Milltown has been having fun with Groundhog Day for more than a decade. The Guthlein's have retired and have passed on the borough tradition to John McNamara.
McNamara hosted his first Groundhog Day celebration in 2019. Last year's chilly Polar Vortex did not keep Mel's faithful away. Around 200 people braved the cold temperatures and donned their Milltown Mel buttons, tees and hats to celebrate the tradition that dates back to the Ancient Christians. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania marked its first Groundhog's Day in 1887.
Milltown Mel forecasted six more weeks of winter last February. Come on out to see what the weather has in store for the winter of 2020 on February 2. Milltown Mel won't be able to predict this year's Super Bowl, but he does have some surprises in store for Groundhog Day.