Wiarton Willie Festival


 Wiarton Willie Predicted an Early Spring!!  - 2012

About the 2012 Wiarton Willie Festival

Wiarton Willie festival 2012Wiarton Willie is celebrating his 56th annual Wiarton Willie festival this year and would love to welcome you to his party. Willie invites you to spend some time listening to the fabulous live entertainment, playing road hockey or jogging, performing in Wee Willie Idol, winning at Monte Carlo night.

The festival has an array of diverse social, recreational and fun events. This year's Festival runs from February 1st to the 5th in beautiful Bluewater Park in Wiarton. For more information on the specific events visit the Wiarton Willie Festival website (you will need FLASH plugin) and click on "Festival Events" to see what's happening at the event site and around town! 

- Here's a 2012 Wiarton Willie Media Kit.-

Wiarton Willie 2011 Festival Prediction

Groundhog Day is the highlight of the Wiarton Willie Festival, one of the largest winter celebrations in Ontario. Fabulous for families, this week-long event attracts around 10,000 people and even international acclaim. There’s a “fun zone” for kids, along with sleigh rides, ice skating, a snow hill, live entertainment and tons of food. Snow pitch and road hockey tournaments are held, along with ice carving and dog sledding demonstrations, and a lumberjack show. The big day itself includes a pancake breakfast, pig roast, parade and evening fireworks.

History of Wiarton Willie

The story of Wiarton Willie began in 1956 by Wiarton resident Mac McKenzie. Feeling a little restless that winter, McKenzie decided to make a party of Groundhog Day and sent out 100 invitations to friends. A Toronto Star reporter somehow heard the news and came up for a story. What the reporter found, and joined, was McKenzie and friends in a local watering hole. Yet not to let the reporter go home empty-handed, McKenzie took his wife’s fur hat, buried it partially in the snow and made a prognostication. The reporter took a photo of that which ran the next day, and the next year, around four-dozen people arrived for a festival that’s grown annually ever since.

Wiarton Willie is the star of Groundhog Day in Wiarton, Ontario. Every February 2nd this cute, white rodent predicts whether spring will come early – or if six more weeks of winter are in store. The albino groundhog lives in Wiarton, in a large cage with an earthen mound just outside of the Bruce County Tourism office across from Bluewater Park. The park is also site a giant stone statue of a groundhog entitled “Willie Emerging”.

Winter Activities locally


Places to Stay

Why not Stay at a Wiarton area Bed and Breakfast: They're like Hotels with Love!  Several Wiarton B&B's are open for business in the winter.  Book a room with confidence: all are members of the Grey-Bruce B&B Association and are inspected regularly.

Longlane Bed and Breakfast
483078 Colpoy's Range Rd. RR2 Wiarton
www.longlane.ca | bb@longlane.ca

Evergreen Forest Bed and Breakfast
381135 Keppel Con 17, RR1 Wiarton
www.efbnb.com  |  stay@evergreen-bed-and-breakfast.com

Sauble Falls Bed and Breakfast
6 Rankin Bridge Rd, RR3 Wiarton
www.saublefallsbb.com  |  info@saublefallsbb.com

Island View Bed and Breakfast
502119 Grey Rd 1, Wiarton
www.islandviewbb.ca  |   info@islandviewbb.ca

This is where Wiarton Willie lives!


More must sees:

must see: Huron Fringe Birding Festival

Huron Fringe Birding Festival

17th Annual Huron Fringe Birding Festival. Two consecutive weekends. A premiere outdoors festival focusing on birds, wildflowers, insects, photography and more.

must see: Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Spring is the perfect time to dust off your bike and hit the trails. With over 12,500 acres and 5 properties, our trails has something for everyone! Chariot friendly trails available at MTB Adventure Park and the Lindsay Tract

must see: Boat Tours

Boat Tours

Explore the crystal clear blue waters of Georgian Bay on breath taking boat cruise. You can lean over a boat and see shipwrecks and learn some history of the sunken ships. On a calm day, the underwater continuation of the Niagara Escarpment is visible. There are islands to explore, shores to cruise, and lighthouses to visit. Also from the water, you can see the coastal cliffs ablaze in the sunset.

must see: Fishing


Saugeen River is the place for spring fishing. Cast from Saugeen's river banks into the spring migratory run or hop in a boat and downrig the deep waters of Georgian Bay & Lake Huron.

must see: Museums


Bruce County Museum is celebrating 60 years! Stay tuned for all the exciting upcoming exhibits such as "Fore the Planet" May 13.

must see: Lighthouse Tours

Immerse yourself in the history of Bruce County lighthouses by taking a self-guided tour through some of the best lighthouses in Ontario!

must see: Hiking


Over 500 km of footpaths to explore along the Bruce Trail, in nature preserves, provincial & national parks.

must see: Motorcycling


Bound by Lake Huron to the West and Georgian Bay to the East, there is a ton of coastline to ride in Bruce County.