Monday, February 02, 2009

Punxsutawney, PA

Happy Groundhog Day!

In February 2006, since we lived only 5 or so hours from Punxsutawney, PA my certifiably crazy fun-loving friends Ursula and Kristen, and I decided to take our 7 kids under the age of nine and road trip to the Weather Capital of the World for Groundhog Day.  We booked our hotel, researched our trip and made our plans.  Unfortunately, the night before we were to leave, Kristen's little boy broke his arm.  But Ursula and I loaded up the five kids and took off west to Punxsutawney.  

Groundhog Day dawned bright and early!  
We left our hotel at 4:30 in the morning to board the shuttle bus in Punxsutawney that would take us up to Gobbler's Knob where all the action is.  You have to be on the Knob by 6:00 AM to get settled in time for the Official Prognostication.  We were lucky as the temperature was in the 30's.  This year,  a record was set for a non-weekend crowd-over 22,000 people!  (No wonder no one could find us on TV!)
There were lots of things to see while we waited for Phil.  There was a fireworks display, singing and dancing,
and a lot of... local color.  
Everyone was in high spirits waiting for daybreak when Phil would make his official prediction.  
Afterwards, we hung around with a couple of thousand other people to get our picture made with Phil.  Then we rode the shuttle bus back down to Punxsutawney.  There was a lot to see and do in this little town-all of which involved the groundhog!  There are groundhog statues all over town.  

The line was too long for the official Groundhog Pancake breakfast, so we ate at McDonalds and then made our way to the festival in the downtown square.  There was a chainsaw carving show that the kids really loved
and of course, more groundhog statues.  
(This is also where I bought my groundhog cookie cutter.)  Next we went to the kids' zone at the local high school where the kids played lots of midway games and groundhog-themed activities.

We had a GREAT time!  Not many people can say that they have seen THE Punxsutawney Phil.  And as always, his prediction was right on target-he saw his shadow and we had six more weeks of winter!
Phil saw his shadow this morning... six more weeks of winter.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed seeing pictures of the groundhog again. What were you doing up at 4:37 AM?


Queen B said...

I know Paula will be excited for more winter ;)

Excellent photojournalism!

Andrea said...

You are the best mom!!

What a great memory your kids will have of this day. I especially like the last picture, "do not move"....LOL.

Kim Thomas said...

My dads birthday is on groundhog day. I am glad you celebrate it.

I mom, therefore I blog.