Punxsutawney Phil Calls It: Spring is Coming, Winter is ‘Shadow’ of its Former Self!

Groundhog DayCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA — In an unexpected twist of fate, winter coats are being sent back to the closets earlier than anticipated. On Friday, Pennsylvania’s very own Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring! The world-famous groundhog didn’t see his shadow this Groundhog Day morning at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, marking the 21st time in the 138-year-old tradition that Phil has given winter the cold shoulder.

Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger were on hand, perhaps hoping for a reprieve from the winter chill themselves. They understand the value of the travel and tourism industry, which, much like Punxsutawney Phil himself, pops up in every corner of the Commonwealth.

“No shadow means an early spring, folks!” announced DCED Secretary Rick Siger, causing a ripple of excitement through the crowd. “The Groundhog Day festivities are proof of our commitment to boosting the tourism industry, which not only creates jobs and strengthens businesses but also convinces more people to call our great Commonwealth home.”

This annual event dates back to 1887 when a group of groundhog hunters, who presumably had run out of other hobbies, dubbed themselves “The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” and declared Punxsutawney Phil the one and only weather-predicting groundhog. Now, thousands gather each February 2 to watch the groundhog emerge, hoping he’ll give winter the brush-off.

This year, more than 30,000 visitors celebrated Phil’s forecast with live music, hot beverages, and fireworks. Millions more tuned in to the livestream, proving that even in the age of high-tech weather apps, we still trust a groundhog to tell us when to pack away the snow shovels.

“Well, that’s another Groundhog Day wrapped up!” said Punxsutawney Groundhog Club President Thomas A. Dunkel. “If you missed it, you’ve got to come next year. It’s the only worldwide holiday with one destination – Gobbler’s Knob. So, put it on your bucket list.”

As we look forward to an early spring, Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary of Tourism, encourages travelers to set their sights on botanic gardens, long hikes, and gravel biking. “Pennsylvania’s outdoor destinations offer limitless options for an early spring,” she said.

So, dust off those hiking boots and get ready to spring into action, Pennsylvania! Our favorite groundhog has spoken.

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