Cape to Kick Off Summer With Quahog Day Tradition

SANDWICH – Pennsylvania may have a groundhog, but Cape Cod has a quahog.

Doug the Quahog, the Cape’s famous weather prognosticator, will come out of his shell Thursday at the Pilot House in Sandwich to offer up his beach forecast for the summer.

The event, dubbed Quahog Day, is put on by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to promote the region’s tourism and beach driven economy.

This is the 10th year the Chamber has organized the celebration, which coincides with the first day of summer.

“It’s just a fun, rollicking afternoon by the ocean and it tweaks the weather people, probably,” said Wendy Northcross the chamber’s CEO. “But I always want to hear what the quahog predicts for how many days of beach weather lie ahead.”

During the ceremony, Doug will whisper his prediction on the number of beach days Cape Cod will have this summer to his human sidekick, Captain Johnny Quahog of Quahog Republic.

“I am one of the most blessed people here on the Cape to be able to listen to quahogs talk,” Johnny Quahog said. “You should hear some of the things these guys say, particularly Doug, they’re outrageous.”

“I expect him to come up with a great prediction and an accurate one yet again,” Johnny Quahog added.

Doug will be escorted to and from the Pilot House by his Quahog Security Detail, a team of black-suited men and women equipped with clamming rakes.

“He’s got a better track record than a lot of prognosticators and that’s why he requires quahog security and protection so that he is not quahognapped or something,” Northcross said.

WCVB-TV anchor/reporter, and Cape Cod native, Doug Meehan will emcee the event.

“I might feel a little guilty at the beginning,” said Meehan, who admitted to eating many quahogs over the years and said he would not talk about how level of clam consumption around Doug the Quahog.

“There’s something special about the summertime and how everybody just looks forward to being a part of what’s happening [on Cape Cod]. So many people rely on the economy during the summer,” Meehan said.

Northcross said Cape Cod businesses saw a strong Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of the tourist season.

“Things really don’t ramp up until school gets out and families start to arrive, but we’ve had a very strong spring even back into early April,” Northcross said.

Northcross expects high numbers of visitors again for the summer season.

“All the economic indicators are there – strong economy, strong employment,” she said. “There are lots of things going on this summer – great events. So all we need now is that great weather and that is the frosting on the cupcake and that’s what Doug the Quahog is going to let us know.”

By BRIAN MERCHANT and MATT McCARTHY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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