You may think that Punxsutawney Phil slumbers in his burrow the year round only to rise early once a year on February 2, Groundhog Day, to greet his devotees and hand down his weather wisdom. But Phil is the original party animal. There are so many events and parties leading up to his big day, that we suspect the furry fellow needs to hole-up to recover from all the excitement.
The Groundhog Day 2018 festivities kicked off on the weekend before Groundhog Day with the Crowning of Little Mr. & Miss Groundhog on January 27. On Sunday, January 28, the day started with Breakfast with Phil and Gobbler’s Knob Tours. During the day, revelers joined in on the fun at the Scavenger Hunt at the Weather Center. Later in the day, there was the Gobbler’s Knob Got Talent contest.
The celebrating picks up in earnest on Thursday, February 1, with Chain Saw Carving, tours of Punxsutawney, Groundhog Story Time, and Crafts, Meteorological Hall of Fame induction, live music, craft show, and Shadow Vineyard Wine Tasting, where you can acquire the coveted Phil’s Phruit Phusion Wine.
The evening is crammed with more fun. There is a spaghetti dinner, free showing of the movie Groundhog Day, the Groundhog Eve Dance, and at 11:45, the Shadow Summit, when an illuminated fiberglass Phil is raised to the summit.
Groundhog Day commences early with a stage show, fireworks, and Phil emerging to give his prognostication to the world. Many of the events from the previous day continue, as well as new ones like Historical Hay Rides, Oreo Stacking Contests, Groundhog Day Weddings, Autograph Signing Session with Phil, and various parties around town at night.
On Saturday, new events include the Groundhog Jog, Groundhog Bingo, S’mores Making and the crowning event, the Groundhog Ball. On Sunday, the Groundhog Day celebration concludes with The Groundhog Day Art Show.
Lest you think Punxsutawney and Phil hibernate the rest of the year, in May the town hosts the Hogtoberfest Craft Beer Festival, while September brings the Groundhog Picnic & Phil Phest. October brightens the fall with Gobbler’s Knob Wine Festival and Phil’s Trick or Trot.
To learn more, visit: www.groundhog.org.
By: Janice Lane Palko