OFF TO SEE THE GROUNDHOG

Yes, today is Groundhog Day and the most famous prognosticator of prognosticators, Punxsutawney Phil, came out of his burrow and saw his shadow. That means six more weeks of what has been a relatively warm winter…

Since I was a child I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for the more famous Phil. My dad clipped any and all articles relating to the famous woodchuck and his “holiday” and I pinned them up on a board in my room, happy to share my name with the coolest celebrity around (at least on February 2nd).

On June 19th of last year, we actually made the trek to the little town of Punxsutawney in a relatively remote region of Central Pennsylvania. It was a random weekend trip I just dialed up in my head one day – consisting of visits to Hershey, State College, Punxsutawney and finally the United 93 Memorial.

Downtown Punxsutawney and the historic Pantall Hotel

Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day might have been filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, but Punxsutawney is unmistakable in appearance. There are tributes everywhere to their immortal rodent resident including statues, artwork, billboards, monuments, the Punxy’s Restaurant  – heck, even Phil himself sits with his beloved wife Phyllis at the local library where he can be viewed 24/7 through the window into his “burrow”.

Gobbler's Knob

The festivities actually take place at Gobbler’s Knob, which is off of Woodland Avenue a little bit outside of town (it was actually somewhat difficult to locate, considering the location isn’t really GPS friendly). That day a birthday party was going on in the buildings on the property, but everything else was readily accessible to us. We got to walk up to the stage and even look inside Phil’s ceremonial living quarters.

I would have loved to be there for the main event, but it was fun to see a little slice of true Americana in the heart of Pennsylvania. Scroll down for a few more pictures from our little side trip…

The Pennsylvania Historical Marker

Weather Capital of the World!

Phil's home...the one inside the glass...

There's Phil himself!

Punsutawney Monkey makes a rare appearance

I predict many more years of traveling for us...

One of the more famous signs greeting your entry into town

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