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Lewisburg Woolly Worm Festival needs caterpillars for winter weather prediction

LEWISBURG — Organizers of the 20th annual Woolly Worm Festival in Lewisburg have the “help wanted” sign out.

They need the public’s help supplying the caterpillars that will be examined Saturday so judges can predict the upcoming winter.

It has been difficult finding enough brown and black caterpillars for the eight judges to examine, said festival chairman Kenneth Kulish. Most of those he has seen are one color, he explained.

The caterpillars need to have black and brown segments that are examined for size and plushness. According to folklore, the thicker the black segments, the worse the winter will be.

If anyone finds a caterpillar with black and brown rings they should bring it to the festival that begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Hufnagle Park in downtown Lewisburg, Kulish said. Judging will occur at 12:30 p.m.

Some years there have been dozens to worms for lab coat-garbed judges with magnifying glasses to examine but last year there were only four.

Besides the woolly worm judging, the festival includes crafts people and vendors. Kulish said he is trying to get more children involved.

Event founder Mike Glazer brags the woolly worms are more than 100 percent accurate in their winter predictions but last year they were only 50 percent.

Judges determined it would be a milder than normal winter, which it was. But their prognostication of several major snow storms did not pan out.

Caterpillars judged during the festival sponsored by the Buffalo Valley Kiwanis Club AM are released after the event.

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