Savannah man goes all out for Groundhog Day

John Reed makes sure no one forgets about the big day at the Savannah Visitors Center
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 10:44 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:30 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - This time of year, most are looking ahead to Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day but one Savannah man has a different holiday on the mind.

“I would say with just fun holidays, it’s number one for me,” says Visit Savannah Operations Manager John Reed.

If you look around the Savannah Visitors Center, it’s not hard to guess which holiday it is.

“We have a crazy boss, named John Reed, that loves groundhogs,” says Visitors Center employee Teresa Willard.

Particularly, Groundhog Day, “a truly American holiday.” Reed says.

He first fell in love with the day during college in Pennsylvania.

“Punxsutawney Phil is quite well known, and they make a big to-do of it there.”

A love that grew thanks to his home state Groundhog’s dominating success.

“General Beauregard Lee has a 60 percent lead over Punxsutawney Phil with his predictions and accuracy.”

Which may be why John has made it a big to-do here at the Visitors Center.

“I’ve been here about ten years and I’ve been doing it ever since I started,” says Reed.

Displaying his beloved groundhog all around the visitor’s center and of course, he gets his staff in on the fun.

“When it’s Groundhog day he makes us do all this stuff,” jokes Willard.

Showing his appreciation and hoping perhaps to get on the groundhog’s good side.

“I do feel it’s good luck. I feel Savannah has become a year-round destination; however, December, January and February of years past have been traditionally slower months. So, we’re just hoping General Beauregard Lee will predict an early spring and will bring even more visitors our way.”