Actually it really is a slow year here in Punxsutawney. Pennsylvania, U.S.A. where we are only expecting about 20,000 visitors from around the world in the essential small town, for Groundhog Day festivities which have been going on since Friday as has the snow.
With the temperature threatening to change the expected heavy snow into light rain, the sort of college students who normally wants to stand on a barren hill top in the cold and dark, is probably still recovering from the big football party on Sunday night. Everything conspires this year to guarantee we aren’t expecting as many impulse visitors as in the years when the second falls on a weekend.
But there are lots of activities as usual, many indoors, and, as usual, townies, especially those of us who live a mile or two outside town, stay away from Barclay Park and Gobbler’s Knob.
Barclay Square is where the town library is located (don’t look for my books there, I’m blackballed apparently for being the only well known local author) and the actual groundhog home is just off the children’s section of the library.
The people leaning on the window are trying to see the groundhogs.
Sunday night here the Pantall Hotel is in receivership so there is no sports bar suitable for visitors downtown near the and the only movie showing at the civic center is, you guessed it, Bill Murry’s Groundhog Day – over, and over, and over – as is appropriate I guess.
The same building is also the crash pad/hostel where you can catch a few hour’s sleep before the buses start the convoy relay to The Knob.
Steel Phil at the Knob.
Phil may or may not see his shadow in a few hours, I’m not staying up to see, but with all the TV lights I don’t see how you would know. However, it is supposed to be snowing around dawn I doubt an honest marmot will claim the sun’s shadow is visible.
The actual stage you see on TV.
So, instead of waiting and reporting on what Phil is supposed to have seen I’ve posted some photos of the Phil statues turned out by local artists in the form of 6-foot tall fiberglass effigies.
A local pizza and beer joint on Rt. 36 north by the Country Club.
For more about Punxsutawney and mostly about our rescue operation and ranch just outside town, see my book, “Sheep in the Rafters, The Story of Highland Ranch Sanctuary,” a Kindle book with more Phil statues but mostly dogs, cats, sheep, lambs, miniature horses, and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SLMJHUI donkeys.