For more facts about Punxsutawney and Phil, as well as a look at the many things to see and do during your stay in Punxsutawney, visit: www.GROUNDHOG.org
Fun Facts About Phil and Punxsutawney, PA
Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just imposters. If Phil sees his shadow in the early Morning of February 2, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his burrow. If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.
The celebration of “Groundhog” Day began with the Germans, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, “...for as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May…” when hedgehogs were used to predict weather. With no native hedgehogs to be found, the settlers discovered that groundhogs were plentiful in Pennsylvania and were the most intelligent and sensible animal to carry on the legend of Candlemas Day.
The name Punxsutawney comes from the Indian "ponksad-uteney" which means the "town of the sandflies." The location was originally settled by Delaware Indians in 1723. The town is located about 2 hours northwest of Pittsburgh, PA.
Most of Phil’s time is spent relaxing in a climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library, with his wife, Phyllis. On Groundhog Day Phil waits in his heated burrow until 7:25 am, when it is time for him to deliver his prediction.
1886 is the first recorded or official Groundhog Day and was celebrated on February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The following year, an official ceremony was held at Gobbler’s Knob and “Phil” was named and proclaimed the one and only official weather predicting groundhog. He has been doing it for over 120 years since. His longevity is derived from an elixir he sips during the summer Groundhog Picnic, which adds 7 additional years to his life.
"Very ineteresting place! My son and I had a great time learning about weather and being a tornado."