There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted when he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties.
Members of Phil’s “inner circle” woke the groundhog at 7.25 am at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see if he could see his shadow.
Shortly after this year’s prediction was revealed, one of the inner circle members shared a message that he said Phil had imparted: “After winter, you are looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brilliant fountains you have ever seen.”
Another member of the “inner circle” pointed out the uniqueness of last year.
“People have been referring to Groundhog Day,” the member said. “It has felt that sometimes we all live the same day over and over again. Groundhog Day also shows us that the monotony ends. The cycle will be broken.
“Today is Groundhog Day, there is only one. Literally, a new day is looming on the horizon. “
The Groundhog Day show continued, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, revelers were unable to see Phil and celebrate in person. Everything was virtual and included cardboard cutouts to represent viewers.
A live stream, which had over 15,000 viewers at one point, played footage from previous Groundhog Days before the big reveal. Then, of course, the tipster of tipsters emerged at dawn. Tradition says that if the groundhog sees its shadow, as it did this year, there will be six more weeks of winter. If you don’t, spring comes early.
Wearing top hats, the club members summoned Phil from a new tree stump.
“You look beautiful,” club president Jeff Lundy told Phil, who directed members to one of the two scrolls.
One club member announced: “We have all made it through the darkness of night, but now we see hope in the bright light of morning. But now when I turn to see, there is a perfect shadow of me. “
Live streaming from Gobbler’s Knob, a small hill outside Punxsutawney, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, is made possible by the Pennsylvania Tourist Board. The event there, always on February 2, dates from 1887.
This year, as in many years before, Phil gave his forecast during a major snowstorm.
The annual event stems from a German legend about a hairy rodent. Records show that Phil has predicted longer winters more than 100 times. The 2020 forecast predicted an early spring; however, Phil said nothing about a pandemic. Phil has predicted winter 106 times and spring 20 times, the club said. Ten years were lost because no records were kept.
Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous marmot seer, but he’s certainly not the only one. There are two high-profile “imposters,” as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club calls them, in the region.
Staten Island Chuck will be asked for his prophecy around 8 a.m. at the Staten Island Zoo in New York. That event will be streamed on Facebook as the zoo is closed.
Also without fanfare, Chuckles, Connecticut’s official state groundhog, will make a prediction from home: the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester. That will also be broadcast on Facebook. Chuckles X died in September, and it remains to be seen if an anointed Chuckles XI will emerge on Tuesday.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism