And the number is?

Many more people seem to be spending the winter on Block Island, or just visiting for the first time. The uptick in people at the grocery store and the Transfer Station, or walking on the beach is palpable.
So just how many people are here?
It’s a question asked every year on February 2, Groundhog Day, and has been since the 1960s.
First-timers may have noticed that the island has a few quirky traditions. One of those is the Groundhog Day Census. For some magical reason the census ends up being a surprisingly accurate count of the winter, aka yearround population of the island – more accurate, many say, than the official United States Census conducted every 10 years.
Just how is the Groundhog Day Census conducted? For years locals have gathered at a pub on February 2, forming teams that go neighborhood through neighborhood, diligently counting, house by house. If you are here, you are counted. Your actual residence isn’t important – only your physical presence. Hotels are called for how many are staying overnight. The ferry parking lot is scanned for those who are not. Technology has, of course, made the task easier, with winter dwellers

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