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Celebrate Groundhog Day!
Punxsutawney Phil is the world's most famous weather prognosticator and the real weather predicting groundhog. Each year, thousands travel to Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA to witness Punxsutawney Phil's projection. If Phil sees his shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. The custom grew out of a winter festival called Candlemas Day during the early days of Christianity in Europe. Clear skies on Candlemas Day meant an extended winter. In Germany, the twist was that on a clear, sunny day, the hedgehog would cast a shadow. Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were German and they noted a large population of groundhogs. So in 1887, a group of groundhog hunters dubbed themselves "The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club."
On February 2, 2018 Phil celebrates 132 years of prognosticating and will make his annual prediction around 7:20 am. Punxsutawney is a charming small town approximately 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Make it a long weekend and enjoy the Groundhog Day festivities which begin on Thursday, February 1 in downtown Punxsutawney. You'll find vendors in the park, chain saw carvers, metal arts display, music, food and more. Click here for a complete listing of events and times. Be sure to make a stop at the Elk Country Visitor Center located in Benezette that offers state-of-the-art interpretive and interactive exhibits about elk and wildlife conservation. If you like wine, you'll want to travel the Groundhog Wine Trail featuring 12-award winning wineries.