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Westmoreland State Park’s Daniel the Raccoon, makes debut on busy Memorial Day weekend

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

Daniel C. Raccoon, resident mascot at Westmoreland State Park, wows the crowds at Westmoreland on Memorial Day Weekend. Daniel, serving Virginia State Parks for almost 76 years, was escorted by Assistant Park Manager, Steve Davis through the day use areas on Saturday of the holiday weekend.

He visited the Olympic-sized pool, posing for pictures, checking on lifeguards, and even stopping to relax on a lounge chair with one tired guest. Daniel stopped at the Shark Bite Snack Bar, trying to steal a few crumbs here and there before making his way through the picnic and beach areas. Children were wide-eyed, some clinging to parents legs, others not wanting to let go of Daniel. Daniel startled some visitors as he went through picnic baskets Yogi style, played with kids on the beach and stopped to share some crabs with one group of picnickers. He kicked soccer balls and picked up a water gun from one young guest and imitated LE Officer Davis. After posing for numerous photo opportunities, he stopped at the Osprey Boathouse and Camp Store to check on new seasonal employees, dishing out fist bumps before making the last leg of his journey to the new Visitor Center to participate in the shark tooth necklace making interpretive program. Of course, Daniel had a large megladon shark tooth in hand to go along with his rather large body.
Daniel will continue to make his rounds throughout the summer, delighting visitors and promoting the interpretive programs offered at the park. Daniel, whose name badge says he has served since 1936, made his first public appearance at the Warsaw, Virginia Christmas parade in December 2011.
Guard those picnic baskets because you never know when Daniel might be on the loose looking to share your favorite outdoor foods.