Phil’s Punxsutawney Predictions
Head to the Pennsylvania town to check “see a rodent predict the weather” off of your bucket list.
When the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray was released, it made the town of Punxsutawney, Punxsutawney Phil and the events surrounding the holiday world famous — so much so that attending Groundhog Day has become a bucket list item for many people.
Since 1887, devotees have made the trek to Punxsutawney’s famous Gobbler’s Knob on Feb. 2; every year, Punxsutawney Phil has accurately predicted six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Although news and weather programs only show a brief clip of Phil’s actual prediction, Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day celebration spans several days.
The fun kicks off the day before the official prognostication at a Breakfast with Phil event, where you can dine with the famous groundhog himself and his top-hatted Inner Circle. Then it’s on to the crowning of the Little Mr. & Miss Groundhog Ceremony at the Weather Discovery Center and the Gobbler’s Knob Got Talent competition. For a more formal celebration, join in on the Groundhog Banquet or Groundhog Ball. Members of the Groundhog Club can attend the exclusive Groundhog Club Members-Only Reception. Other events include a Phantastic Phil walking tour to some of the Phil sculptures around town, Dueling Pianos, a 5K run and a showing of “Groundhog Day.”
On Feb. 2, the gates at Gobbler’s Knob open at 3 a.m. Parking is limited to handicapped individuals, but you can catch a shuttle bus from town. Phil’s faithful followers will enjoy a wildly entertaining show for the hours leading up to his sunrise prognostication. Inner Circle members keep the crowd on the Knob pumped with heart-pounding music and lots of local talent on stage, and as the big moment approaches, fireworks fill the sky. The full Inner Circle then gathers on stage for the moment when Phil looks for his shadow and makes his prediction to the president of the Inner Circle, the only one who can interpret his Groundhogese. The festivities then continue around Punxsutawney throughout the weekend.
Head to the Knob early — thousands of people will be waiting for the shuttle buses and walking up the hill, and the pre-prognostication party is tons of fun, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all the events. While the prognostication is free, you will need tickets for many of the weekend’s other events.
For more information on lodging, dining and planning your trip for Groundhog Day, go to VisitPAGO.com/GroundhogDay or call 814/849-5197.
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