Dick Goddard remembered as founder of Woollybear Festival


** A look back at Woollybear 47 in the video above**

CLEVELAND (WJW)– Only Dick Goddard could turn a celebration for a caterpillar into Ohio’s largest one-day festival.

The legendary meteorologist founded the Woollybear Festival in 1973. For decades, people have flocked to Vermilion for the wonderfully wacky event and parade.

It features a costume contest, caterpillar races and culminates with the winter forecast. According to folklore, the woollybear caterpillar can predict upcoming winter weather. A wide orange stripe indicates a mild winter.

Goddard’s first festival was held in the small community of Birmingham and served as a fundraiser for a local school district. As the parade and the number of spectators grew, Woollybear needed a new home. The city of Vermilion happily stepped in.

“It helps out so many non-profits and school fundraisers, so this is a wonderful thing,” said Sandy Coe, Vermilion Chamber of Commerce.

In the sea of visitors, Goddard could be found visiting with fans and petting dogs dressed up for the occasion.

More stories on Dick Goddard here

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