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Thompson Attends Groundhog Day, Punxsy Phil Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter
Punxsutawney, PA - In an age old tradition in Northwestern Pennsylvania, thousands flocked to Gobbler’s Knob to witness Punxsutawney Phil make his 123nd prediction as to when winter will end. Phil made his debut at Gobbler’s Knob in 1887.
“Groundhog Day is synonymous with Punxsutawney, and having the opportunity to partake in the festivities this morning was an honor and great experience,” said Congressman GT Thompson. “This ‘hog day, as the locals call it, had somewhat of a special ring to it. Bill Cooper, the long time President of the Punxsutawney Ground Hog Club’s Inner Circle, presided over his final ceremony. Bill has led the Inner Circle with distinction and I wish him well as he becomes the Club’s President Emeritus.”
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle is a group of local dignitaries responsible for carrying on the tradition of Groundhog Day each year. They are not only responsible for planning the Groundhog Day events; they are also responsible for the feeding and care of Phil himself. They are the gentlemen dressed in tails and top hats at the annual ceremony.
Each year on February 2nd at 7:25 a.m., The Punxsutawney Ground Hog Club gathers at Gobblers Knob where Phil makes his prediction. German tradition states that if Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter and returns to his hole – if he is shadowless, Phil stays above ground, with spring just around the corner.
Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:
Hear Ye Hear Ye
On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009
Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators
Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper
And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths
After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,
Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time
And a bright sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.
Note: Some information in this press release was obtained from the official Groundhog Day website, www.groundhog.org.