‘Quilliam’ the adorable, forecasting hedgehog is about to have his big day

Move aside Punxsutawney Phil! Dayton’s very own Quilliam is ready for the spotlight again.

Quilliam the Forecasting Hedgehog is about to predict our chances of an early spring for the fourth year in a row at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

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The museum will be celebrating its fourth annual Hedgehog Day in the place of a traditional Groundhog Day celebration at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2. The actual forecast occurs at 1 p.m. in the Museum’s Caryl D. Phillips Planetarium, with activities beforehand.

After Rosie the beloved Boonshoft groundhog succumbed to cancer, Quilliam the African Pygmy Hedgehog stepped into the limelight in 2017 and was welcomed with great enthusiasm. The Boonshoft staff says he has become quite the prima donna fixture at the Museum’s Discovery Zoo.

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Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Featuring a hedgehog to perform the annual honors is not as unusual as you might think.

Stephanie Hylinski, the Boonshoft Museum’s Curator of Live Animals, said the hedgehog was originally used in a forerunner of Groundhog Day in a historic tradition known as Candlemas Day, according to a Boonshoft press release. The Candlemas celebration was observed on Feb. 2 throughout Europe. The hedgehog was trusted to predict the coming of spring in Serbia, Germany, the United Kingdom and a host of other European countries for generations.

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“We’ll all be in quiet anticipation as we witness whether or not Quilliam sees his shadow,” according to a Boonshoft press release. “That simple act, according to custom, determines if we will experience an early spring or have to endure winter for a while longer. ”

Access to the special event is included with regular museum admission.

Located at 2600 DeWeese Parkway, the Boonshoft Museum is open to the public 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $14.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors (60+), and $11.50 for children (3-17). Children under 3 and Dayton Society of Natural History members are free.

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

WHEN: 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2

WHERE: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 DeWeese Parkway

INFO: boonshoft.com

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