Groundhog Day Festivities Continue in Punxsy

10915019_10152681267951794_7692490501776748855_oPUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – As dawn breaks over Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsy Thursday, the world’s most famous groundhog will come out of his den.

If he sees his shadow, it’s six more weeks of winter. If not, an early spring is in the offing.

It all began in 1887 when Punxsutawney Spirit editor Clymer H. Freas began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official “Groundhog Day meteorologist.”

Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter.

The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather.

Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

Thousands are expected to be in attendance and there is plenty planned to help celebrate the day.

Festivities will be held in a heated “Celebration Tent” located in Barclay Square and at businesses throughout Punxsutawney.

Activities and events will include food vendors, musical performances, comedians, walking tours, art displays, and more.

For those who can’t make it to Punxsutawney, Phil’s prognostication at Gobbler’s Knob will be live streamed at groundhog.org and will also be broadcast live on PCN starting at 6:00 a.m.

For more information on this year’s festivities, visit Groundhog.org.

Also, here is the schedule of events for the remainder of the week.

Thursday, February 2

3:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Punxsutawney Phil’s 131st Groundhog Day prognostication, stage performances and fireworks. Take the bus for $5.00 from Barclay Square, Punxsutawney Plaza or the Wal-Mart. Gobbler’s Knob. 

6:30 a.m. until food is gone: Pancake and sausage breakfast. Cost: $5.00 adults, $3.00 children 4-11, and free for children 3 and younger. The Salvation Army, 229 W. Mahoning Street 

7:00 a.m. until food is gone: Breakfast buffet. Punxsutawney Eagles, 238 E. Mahoning Street

7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Craft show. Punxsutawney Community Center, 220 N. Jefferson Street

8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Free hot chocolate. B’s Books, 122 E. Mahoning Street

8:00 a.m. to noon: Chainsaw wood carving by Randy Rupert of Wizards Workshop. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

8:00 a.m. to noon: Wine tasting with Shadow Vineyard & Winery. 106 W. Mahoning Street

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Bingo with prizes. Barclay Square celebration tent, 300 E. Mahoning Street

9:00 a.m.: Photo scavenger hunt with prizes. Participants can hunt as individuals or in pairs. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

9:00 a.m.: Ice carving show. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

9:00 a.m.: Walking tour of Phantastic Phil sculptures departing from Phil’s burrow. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Groundhog luncheon. First English Lutheran Church, 104 N. Gilpin Street

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: “Nature’s Creatures” art show with cocoa and cookies. Christian School, 216 N. Jefferson Street

9:30 a.m.: “Freddy the Frogcaster” reading and book signing by Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean. Cost: $22.00 for book and admission or $18.00 just for the book. Weather Discovery Center, 201 N. Findley Street

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Phil’s birthday party with gifts for anyone who can prove they have a February 2 birthday. Punxsutawney Community Center, 220 N. Jefferson Street

10:00 a.m.: “Groundhog Day” screening. Punxsutawney Community Center, 220 N. Jefferson Street

10:00 a.m.: Top hat decorating contest for children up to 12 years old. Supplies provided. Barclay Square celebration tent, 300 E. Mahoning Street

10:00 a.m. to noon: Wedding and vow renewal ceremonies. No walk-ins available. Barclay Square and the Civic Center, 301 E. Mahoning Street

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Oreo stacking contest for children through age 12.  Punxsutawney County Market, 201 N. Hampton Avenue

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Groundhog cookie decorating. Cost: $1.00 per cookie.  Punxsutawney County Market, 201 N. Hampton Avenue

10:00 a.m.: Hay ride historical tour. Departs from Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society, 400 W. Mahoning Street

11:00 a.m.: Phil 101 class. Punxsutawney Phil will be present. Barclay Square celebration tent, 300 E. Mahoning Street

11:00 a.m.: Scavenger hunt with prizes. Participants can hunt as individuals or in pairs. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

11:00 a.m.: Walking tour of Phantastic Phil sculptures departing from Phil’s burrow. Barclay Square, 300 E. Mahoning Street

11:00 a.m.: Hay ride historical tour. Departs from Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society, 400 W. Mahoning Street

Noon: Autograph session with the Groundhog Club Inner Circle. Barclay Square celebration tent, 300 E. Mahoning Street

Friday, February 3

7:00 p.m.: Mary Sarah in concert. Cost: $25.00 Punxsutawney Country Club, 408 N. Main Street


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