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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – On a typical morning, you may see a few people on the Hollywood Broadwalk just before sunrise getting in their early morning exercise.
Friday was not your typical day.
A crowd gathered outside Ocean Alley restaurant awaiting the outcome of the Groundhog Day celebration 1,000 miles to the north.
“What our idea was is that we want to see how many more days of tourists we are going to have because this is where people stay if it is cold up north,” said Debra Case the owner of the restaurant.
This is the 14th annual Groundhog Day at Hollywood Beach which draws bigger and bigger crowds each year. It starts with a great breakfast and once the live-stream of Punxsutawney Phil making his annual prediction is over the party heads to the beach.
The overall consensus is most likely the opposite of what everyone up north is hoping for.
“We were hoping for a shadow on Hollywood Beach,” said Rich Aube from the Coral House Hotel.
Six more weeks of season is a good thing for the entire area.
Jeff Hansen is the organizer of the event and spent about three to four years in Pennsylvania prior to starting the event here in Hollywood Beach.
“I just about froze to death but kind of liked the vibe,” he said. “We started doing it down here for the lifeguards. Funding is kind of low and we wanted to help them out.”
Proceeds from the event will help the competition team travel to the national competition which will be held in Virginia Beach this year.
Speaking of lifeguards, none were needed as the party moved to the beach just after the official prediction was made in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Each year the event ends with a plunge into the mild ocean which this year was about 75 degrees.
“That’s absolutely hot for the snowbirds compared to the water they are used to,” said Hansen.
The event is held every year on Hollywood Beach at Ocean Alley from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.