You may think that Punxsutawney Phil slumbers in his burrow the year round only to rise early once a year on February 2, Groundhog Day, to greet his devotees and hand down his weather wisdom. But Phil is the original party animal. There are so many events and parties leading up to his big day, that we suspect the furry fellow needs to hole-up until next February to recover from all the excitement.

The 2018 Groundhog Day festivities kicked off on the weekend before Groundhog Day on January 26, with the Crowning of Little Mr. & Miss Groundhog. On Sunday, January 27, the day started with Breakfast with Phil & Gobbler’s Knob Tours. During the day, partiers joined in on the fun at the Gobbler’s Knob Got Talent contest.

The celebrating picks up in earnest on again Friday, February 1, with Chain Saw Carving, Groundhog Day Cornhole tournaments, Groundhog Story Time & Crafts, Meteorological Hall of Fame induction, live music, craft show, and the 16th Annual Groundhog Comedy Extravaganza. You can even drink Punxsutawney Philsner beer.

The evening is crammed with more fun. There is a spaghetti dinner, free showing of the movie Groundhog Day, the Groundhog Eve Dance, and at 11:45, the Shadow Summit, when an illuminated fiberglass Phil is raised to the summit.

Groundhog Day commences early with Phil emerging to give his 133rd Weather Prognostication to the world. Many of the events from the previous day continue as well as new ones like Historical Hay Rides, Groundhog Day Weddings, Autograph Signing Session with Phil, and various parties around town at night.

On Sunday, the Groundhog Day celebration concludes with The Groundhog Day Art Show, the Groundhog Bingo, and S’mores Making among other events.

Lest you think Punxsutawney and Phil hibernate the rest of the year, in spring the town hosts the Hogtoberfest Craft Beer Festival, and summer brings the Groundhog Festival. In the fall the Gobbler’s Knob Wine Festival celebrates autumnal glory and local wines.

By: Janice Lane Palko