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Description
Each Feb. 2, the nation awaits the prognostication of one of the town's most respected citizens: Punxsutawney Phil—the official groundhog of Groundhog Day . As they have each year since 1887, believers trek at dawn to Gobbler's Knob and rout the rodent from his den to determine whether there will be an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter, a legend based on the European tradition of Candlemas Day (Feb. 2), where a burrowing animal is used to predict the length of winter.
This annual occurrence was immortalized in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” in which a television weatherman (played by comedian Bill Murray) reluctantly comes to Punxsutawney to cover the event, only to awake the next morning and find himself reliving every facet of the preceding day over, again and again.
On the other 364 days of the year, Phil and his family reside at the “groundhog zoo” at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, just off the town’s historic Barclay Square at 301 E. Mahoning St. A glass window lets visitors see the animals and their habitat from either inside or outside the building.
A series of 32 colorful, larger-than-life fiberglass statues honoring Punxsutawney’s most famous resident can be seen in public spaces around town. The chamber of commerce has maps that show the placement of each of the Phils, as they are called.
Area residents enjoy the outdoors year-round on the Mahoning Shadow Trail, a 15-mile rails-to-trails conversion that runs between Punxsutawney and Fordham, beckoning walkers, runners, bicyclists and cross-country skiers. The trail, which mostly follows Mahoning Creek, crosses a railroad bridge and passes coke ovens and a waterfall. Trail maps are available at the chamber of commerce office.
Visitor Info
Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce 102 W. Mahoning St. PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA 15767. Phone:(814)938-7700
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Current Location: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania