Groundhog sees his shadow; early Spring coming?

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Although generally a mild winter so far for Chester County, the Commonwealth’s most famous groundhog predicted Friday that an early Spring would come this year.

Pennsylvania’s very own world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring after not seeing his shadow this morning at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney — marking the 21st time Phil has not seen his shadow during the 138-year-old tradition.

Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger were in Punxsutawney this morning, for the second year in a row, as Phil made his annual prediction. The Governor and his Administration understand the importance of the travel and tourism industry, which serves as a powerful economic engine in every corner of the Commonwealth.

“No shadow appeared this morning and Punxsutawney Phil indicated that all signs point to an early spring,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger. “We’re excited to share this news with the tens of thousands who make the trek to Gobbler’s Knob each year and to the millions more who await Phil’s prediction from around the globe. The Groundhog Day festivities are an excellent example of the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to boosting the tourism industry, which creates good jobs, strengthens businesses, and attracts more people to call our Commonwealth home.”

The annual event dates to 1887 when a group of groundhog hunters first dubbed themselves “The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” and proclaimed Punxsutawney Phil to be the one-and-only weather prognosticating groundhog. Since then, thousands of people gather each February 2 to watch the groundhog emerge. According to the holiday folklore, if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. Should he not see his shadow, Phil promises an early spring.

This year, more than 30,000 visitors celebrated Phil’s prognostication in-person with live music, hot beverages, and fireworks for all to enjoy. Millions more tuned in to the livestream on and related social media channels.

“Well, that wraps up the best holiday of the year, Groundhog Day! On February 2, we had one of the largest crowds in Groundhog Day history. Our fellow trekkers enjoyed the stage show, fireworks, and seeing Phil’s prognostication,” said Punxsutawney Groundhog Club President Thomas A. Dunkel. “Whether an early spring or six more weeks of winter, everyone had a great time. Punxsutawney hosts the only worldwide holiday with one destination. If you missed it, come to Gobbler’s Knob, have a great time and check it off your bucket list.”

This year’s Groundhog Day celebration is just one of the many unique experiences the Pennsylvania Tourism Office is proud to share on and its corresponding social media channels. The Office also encourages those looking for their next celebration or trip to grab a copy of the 2024 Pennsylvania Travel Guide, an annual guide full of new ideas on how to explore and learn more about Pennsylvania.

“Spring it shall be, which allows travelers to set their sights on botanic gardens, long hikes, and gravel biking,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary of Tourism Carrie Fischer Lepore. “Pennsylvania’s outdoor destinations, including our 124 free state parks, countless golf courses, and nature preserves offer limitless options for an early spring.”

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