You may not know much about Groundhog Day other than it revolves around a groundhog seeing his shadow or not. Or that it was the basis of a Bill Murray movie where he lives the same day over and over again till he gets it right. This interesting folklore is based on a groundhog and whether or not he will see his shadow. If it is cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow that means spring will come early. If it is sunny then the groundhog will see his shadow and we will be the lucky winners of winter for six more weeks. This special day takes place on February 2nd.
If you are really looking to celebrate this holiday than make travel plans to visit Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This wonderful city is known for their Groundhog Day tradition, making it the largest Groundhog Day celebration in the U.S.
The first documented celebration of Groundhog Day is dated in February 4th, 1841 in Morgantown, Pennsylvania by a storekeeper named James Morris. It is believed that this tradition was brought over from Europe when the Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania. It is said that this large celebration began as an idea from a local newspaper editor who was able to sell the idea to a group of business men and groundhog hunters.
So what do the good people of Punxsutawney do to celebrate this day? Quite a lot! This is a 3 day celebration to them. Start out the weekend with a fun craft show and a wooden groundhog cut out competition. There is also a crowning of Little Mr. & Mrs. Groundhog. There are tons of activities for kids. From story time to craft time and a scavenger hunt, there are so many things the little ones can do. There is even a Groundhog Ball. The main event happens on February 2nd. In the early morning, Punxsutawney Phil (the city’s pet groundhog) makes his special appearance. It is here that he is hoisted up in the air and everyone cheers. The announcement for 6 more weeks of winter or not is then made. If you can’t make it to the town on Groundhog Day don’t worry! You can visit Punxsutawney Phil all year round. He lives at his burrow on Barclay Square. There are viewing windows on the outside so that you can see him all year round!