Local Groundhog Day Event Celebrates 14 Years

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  High Life Lounge in Des Moines had lines out the door at 5 a.m. on Friday for its annual Groundhog Day Celebration. The bar served free beer from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and breakfast until 11 a.m.

This year, local groundhog Polk County Paula did not see her shadow Friday morning, meaning she thinks central Iowa will have an early spring.

This tradition started 14 years ago when the High Life Lounge opened on Groundhog Day. The lounge added a little bit of competition this year with a triathlon. Six attendees were selected to try their skills at wood chucking, sack races, and puzzling. The winner received a trophy and Miller High Life Prize Pack.

A groundhog is also known as a woodchuck, so central Iowa's own woodchuck Polk County Paula chucked wood and answered the age-old question 'how much wood can a woodchuck chuck?'

The owner of High Life Lounge, Jeff Bruning, said the lounge sees more than 500 people during its annual February 2nd celebration.