Groundhog Day Info
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day! The 125th trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for Punxsutawney Phil’s official prognostication begins includes live entertainment, fireworks and other activities. Phil’s official prediction will be at daybreak. The men who call themselves the “Inner Circle” say Phil speaks to them in “groundhogese” and they translate the rodent’s words. Here are some fun facts from the Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club:
History of Groundhog Day:
- The first legendary trek to Gobbler’s Knob was in 1887. In early observances, the groundhog’s predictions were conducted in private wooded areas that neighbor the town. Presently, Phil makes his prediction in front of tens of thousands of visitors and a global audience. Members of the Inner Circle coax Phil from his hole and announce Phil’s prediction. If Phil sees his shadow, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of winter and returns to his hole; if not, spring is just around the corner.
Phamous Punxsutawney Phil Phacts:
- During Prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter if he wasn’t permitted a drink.
- In 1958 Phil announced that it was a “United States Chucknik,” rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.
- In 1981 Phil wore a yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
- Phil traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1986 to meet with President Reagan.
- In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. Since then, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney!
- Phil appeared on “Oprah” in 1995.
- In 2001, Phil’s prediction was shown live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City.
- Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attended Groundhog Day ceremonies in 2003, making him the first sitting governor ever to do so.
- Phil is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan; he sported a Terrible Towel in 2009 to celebrate the team’s Sixth Super Bowl victory.
Here are some other interesting FAQs from groundhog.org:
- Punxsutawney Phil’s full name is actually “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire.” It was proclaimed by the “Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” in 1887, the same year they declared Punxsutawney to be the weather capital of the world.
- There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking “groundhog punch,” a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life.
- As the story goes, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br’er Groundhog.
- Since Phil’s first trek to Gobbler’s Knob in 1887, he has seen his shadow 99 times, no shadow – 15 times, no record – 10 times. He saw his shadow last year.
- If you can’t be there to celebrate with Phil, there will be live video on www.visitpa.com/GroundHog