Meet “Doug,” Cape Cod’s official quahog and Summer weather predictor. The good news is on Tuesday, June 22 Doug announced there will be 13 weeks of sunshine for the Cape. Must be good luck brought to you by the Narragansett Father’s Day ties. Notice Doug’s security guards attire. This can only mean one thing. Load up the family station-wagon with plenty of Gansetts and head to the beaches of Cape Cod for your Summer weekend fun. Here’s the full story in the Cape Cod Times.
SANDWICH — The world hinged on the musings of a quahog late yesterday afternoon.
OK, not the world, but the dozens gathered at Hemisphere Restaurant in Sandwich were rapt with anticipation.
This was no ordinary quahog the crowd was waiting for at the beach. This was “Doug,” deemed the Cape’s official quahog by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, who was ready to predict whether it would be a long and sunny summer. The quahog missed the mark last year, saying there would be 11½ weeks of sunshine. Instead, it was a rainy and cold season.
Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, said Doug would have to get it right this year, or he could be a stuffed quahog by this time next year.
“We decided to give him one last chance,” she said.
Doug’s moment in the sun kicked off a week’s worth of quahog activities, including a stuffed-quahog eating contest and a quahog-and-spoon race. The week will be capped off by the 30th annual WCOD Chowder Fest at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis on June 27.
Last year, the event was only one day. In the future, organizers hope to make quahog fun a tourism draw for the entire month of June.
Northcross said the first-day-of-summer event has even caught the attention of the Punxsutawney Phil folks in Pennsylvania, where the famed groundhog predicts in February how long winter will continue.
“They’ve been good sports about it,” she said.
Last night, festivities included the local band Black Wampum, who performed for the crowd, including their song, “Chowder Powder.”
Fox25 meteorologist A.J. Burnett, a Barnstable native, joked that the chamber grew impatient with him not predicting the summer weather so they turned to a quahog.
The ceremony reached a fervor when Doug arrived at the party in a sporty black limousine, care of Limousine Services of Cape Cod.
Carried out by “security guards,” Doug took his place next to “Johnny Quahog,” otherwise known as Erik Bevans, the owner of Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth.
Johnny Quahog was the only person who could communicate with the quahog, the crowd was told. After listening to the mollusk, the “quahog listener” gave his answer: Thirteen weeks of sunny summer weather ahead. The crowd erupted with glee.
After the forecast, Falmouth resident Bill Cominos walked along the beach. A friend told him about the event, so he decided to check it out.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
Yes, he was hoping there would be some stuffed quahogs on the beach (there weren’t). But he perked up when he heard there was a week’s worth of fun ahead, which include discounts at area restaurants.
Of course, tourism officials know that the extended sunshine is what Cape businesses really need.
“We hope he’s right,” Northcross said.