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Spending Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil [Video]

There are a lot of words that you could use to describe what it’s like to visit Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. But, the word that I would pick is “electric”. What makes the weather forecastings of an overgrown rodent so exciting is anyone’s guess. But, what I do know is that this strange tradition in a typically quiet Pennsylvania borough in the middle of nowhere has captivated the world.

When I pulled up to Gobbler’s Knob at 5am, the crowd was already rocking despite the constant mist that turned jackets wet and the ground a thick pool of mud. Performers on the stage kept the crowd entertained with upbeat songs that alternated between classic party songs and parody songs about Groundhog Day (Anyone for a little “Groundhog (Gangnam) Style”?)

However, as it got closer and closer to sunrise, and the crowd swelled to an estimated 25,000, it was clear that despite the songs, fireworks, and comedy coming from the stage, everyone was anxious to see the star of the show, Punxsutawney Phil.

(Click here to see my top tips for visiting Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day.)

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    Did Phil see his shadow or are we going to have an early spring this year? Watch my video above to find out. Hopefully it proves that, in the words of Phil Conners from the movie Groundhog Day, “This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”

    Have you ever been to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day? What did you think of the experience? Let me know in the comments section below.

    See map below for other area attractions.

    Spending Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

    AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

    Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

    3 Comments

    • James Clark

      I’ve always wanted to go, if only because of Bill Murray (I hope the city sends him a present every year). Groundhog Day is on my birthday as well, but I prefer to be somewhere warm on that day so I may never get to experience it.

      • Jim Cheney

        Groundhog Day is actually really popular with people who have birthday’s on February 2nd. They even sing “Happy Birthday” and throw a small birthday party. Can’t blame you for wanting to be somewhere warm though.

    • Rick Dunlap

      I’ve been on Gobbler’s Knob for 7 GH Days and unlike the movie, every visit has been a different and magical experience. Electric is certainly a way to capture it. It’s Americana at its best and truly a unique experience for all ages. Organizers have helped to make it even more family-friendly over the years, curbing some of the unbridled revelry from “the old days.” My first year was actually the last year for the massive field parties that took place across the road – looking more like a scene from “Mad Max” than “Groundhog Day.” GHD is definitely a right of passage for anyone who loves the movie and a badge of honor to be displayed proudly for those who have braved the early winter mornings to see the original Prognosticator of Prognosticators. GHD may be imitated now by other communities, but the true experience of GHD in Punxsy, PA can never be duplicated. Keep up the great work Jim – you are uncovering some of the best experiences PA has to offer!

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