Celebrate Groundhog Day at Gobblers Knob-How to Get There and What to Expect
How Groundhog Day began
It seems that we Americans are always open to a good party, especially one that brings some fun in the middle of the dismal winter days. Thus, Groundhog Day has become a popular festival, at least in some parts of the country. The what, when and how of this celebration is as follows:
According to Wikipedia, German settlers brought the folklore to Pennsylvania in the 1800’s from the studying the badger. Farmers would take note of the badger’s activity to know the ‘right’ time to plant their crops. Since badgers were scarce in Pennsylvania, German settlers used the groundhog in its place.
What is a groundhog?
Did you know that another name for a groundhog is ‘woodchuck’? Yes, and that makes it a member of the squirrel family. Do you remember this tongue-twister? Be sure to say it three times as quickly as you can.
How much wood,
Would a woodchuck chuck,
If a woodchuck
Could chuck wood?
As much wood
As a woodchuck would,
If a woodchuck
Could chuck wood.
Here are some additional facts about groundhogs:
Groundhogs are rodents who are primarily vegetarians. They get their hydration from eating large, leafy plants as their primary water source. They can swim and climb trees.
Groundhog Day is celebrated in Canada, as well. Their 'Punxy Phil' is called: Wiarton Willie and his home is in Wiarton, Ontario.
The word 'woodchuck' comes from the Algonquian word: 'wuchak'.
Groundhogs can be found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Georgia.
Looking for Punxsutawney Phil?
It appears that cities across the nation and in Canada, count on this little mammal to predict the weather. That is the sole purpose for Punxsutawney Phil’s existence. He is lavishly cared for 364 days a year for a one day performance on February 2, and the time of his grand appearance is always at sunrise. If you're wondering where the event takes place, it's where it has been happening every year since 1887-on a clearing in Gobblers Knob.
Did you know that the movie: Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murry and Andie MacDowell was never filmed in Gobblers Knob nor any part of Pennsylvania? No, the movie was shot in Woodstock, IL in 1993.
The most famous groundhog in history
Where is Gobblers Knob?
Gobblers Knob is approximately two miles from Punxsutawney, PA. The event takes place in a clearing where people gather around a stage, now permanently set up, that has a simulated tree stump-hinged door and all, for old Phil to saunter out. But, don’t be alarmed, Phil is kept comfortable in a heat controlled burrow while waiting to make his prediction. Too bad, his audience doesn’t have it that nice. If you should decide to witness Punxy Phil’s saunter into the light, you will have to be dressed warmly with hats, gloves, scarves and winter coats. While the area offers a bonfire, temperatures will be freezing.
The gates of Gobblers Knob open early: 3:00 a.m. and by 8:00 a.m. they will close once more. But, if you take a trip to Punxsutawney, population less about 6700, you will have plenty to do on the days preceding the 2nd of February.
Gobblers Knob-How to Get There
A Groundhog and his Shadow...
If you head out to Gobblers Knob this year you will be participating in a celebration of Groundhog Day that is over a century old. While Punxy Phil is preening for his public prognostication, his audience will be entertained with food, music, and other festive fun culminating in fireworks.
Will Phil be frightened by his shadow this year and scurry back to his hole? Or, will the clouds overshadow the sun and fool Phil into thinking there will be only six more weeks of winter? Thus far, Phil’s weather predictions have averaged less than 50%; it may not be a reliable way to predict the weather, but Punxy Phil rates high on the popularity scale.
On Saturday, February 2, 2013 the folks in Gobblers Knob celebrated the 127th arrival of Groundhog Day. This yeah, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, which foretells an early spring. We'll be waiting to find out if his prediction will come true.
Where does Punxy Phil, the Groundhog, live?
The town’s Inner Circle manages the Groundhog Day festivities, as well as the care for Phil and his mate, Phyllis. The Inner Circle is the group of men one sees sporting the top hats and tuxedos. They feed Phil, keep his habitat clean, and plan the annual event activitieshttp://www.groundhog.org They also promote fundraisers to help offset the cost for Phil and Phyllis’s room and board.
One way they do this is by offering a ‘Scholastic Celebration of Groundhog Day’ package for teachers and parents, $5.00 per 20 page packet. It is filled with educational activities and projects. To find out more you can go to the link: http://www.groundhog.org/
You may wonder, where do they keep Punxy Phil and his wife during the groundhog’s extended off season? Well, the Punxsutawney Memorial Library has built a special wing to house the groundhogs. The outside wall is glass to ensure a clear view for spectators who want to spot the animals between jobs. This wing is named the Ground Hog Zoo.
All About Punxsutawney Phil-the star of Ground Hog Day
Happy Groundhog Day, everyone. Go out and enjoy your own shadow boxing or stay in and enjoy a rerun of the comedy: Ground Hog Day.
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