Punxsutawney – Pennsylvania’s world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow this morning in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
“What started as a small gathering in 1887 has now evolved into tens of thousands of visitors from around the nation coming to Punxsutawney to participate in this time-honored Groundhog Day tradition. The economic impact of this multi-day event is tremendous,” Corbett said. “Regardless of whether Phil predicts an extended winter or early spring, tourists will have plenty of recreational opportunities in Pennsylvania to choose from in the coming weeks.”
Thousands of fans watched as Phil made his highly anticipated weather prognostication, commemorating 128 years of Pennsylvania’s unique Groundhog Day tradition.
According to holiday folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning on Feb. 2 and does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring. If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of wintry weather are expected. The annual event that started with a small group of men known as the Inner Circle now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Valerie Caras, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116
Lyndsay Kensinger, DCED, 717-783-1132
Editor’s Note: Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of six more weeks of winter means there’s still time to hit the slopes or enjoy a winter festival. Below, find a sampling of what Pennsylvania has in store for travelers during the remaining weeks of winter:
- Chocolate-Covered February, Feb. 1-28, Hershey
It is only natural that “The Sweetest Place On Earth” hosts a month-long celebration in honor of all things chocolate. Hershey has the most decadent chocolate events planned throughout the month of February, so bring the family or sneak away with that special someone to a chocolate-covered paradise. www.chocolatecoveredfebruary.com
- Swan Lake at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Feb. 13-16, Pittsburgh
Enjoy a cultural performance of one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballets, Swan Lake, at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The widely acclaimed theatre is known for its classical ballet masterpieces and innovative explorations of contemporary dance. www.pbt.org/performances/swan-lake-orchestra
- Jim Thorpe Winterfest, Feb. 15-16, Jim Thorpe
Experience one last winter festival this season in the Pocono Mountains. The historic town of Jim Thorpe provides a beautiful backdrop to its Winterfest, a two-day winter extravaganza complete with the famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk, wood and ice carving, concerts, carriage rides and lots of kid-friendly fun! www.jimthorpe.org/wfest.htm
- International Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, Feb. 22-March 1, Ridgway
Each year hundreds of chainsaw carvers from around the world gather in Ridgway to share their art and skill with the public and to raise money for charities at the world’s largest event of its kind. The International Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, held in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds, has delighted thousands with chainsaw competitions, safety classes, carving displays and much more since its start in 2000. www.chainsawrendezvous.org
- Tour de Tanks of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, Weekends in March, York
Each Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of March, the award-winning wineries of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail offer exclusive tank and barrel tastings to preview the season's wines before they are bottled. A single ticket is good for all five weekends and offers wine lovers discounts on purchases during the events. www.masondixonwinetrail.com
- The Surrealists: Works from the Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, through March 2, Philadelphia
Stay warm indoors and experience a unique collection of great masterpieces that provide an account of Surrealism. The exhibition features a diverse and exceptional group of more than 70 paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, and books that highlight the most celebrated Surrealists – including Salvador Dali, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, and Dorothea Tanning. www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/793.html
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