took me and Sister Actonbell
to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day. Boy, did we have fun! Sure wish that Sister AP3
could've been there. I'd like to see her when the Groundhog King and Queen are crowned.
As we drove towards Punxsutawney, I wondered how serious this town was about the Groundhog. Then I saw this sign:
We got there on January 31st, so the town wasn't totally parked up yet and we checked into the Pantall Hotel. First I saw this at the side entrance:
... And look who stayed in the room across the hall! There were photos of Bill Murray in some of the shops around town from his visit back in 1992. Groundhog Day
was not filmed in Punxsutawney, but the town has really embraced him and the movie. Some members of the real "Inner Circle
" were in the movie, tho'.
There was an ice carver and woodcarver in the park across the street from the hotel (both used chainsaws).
Phil and Phyllis live in "The Zoo", which is an enclosure at the town library. Phil was ... um ... very "LOVING", but he took WAY too long and Phyllis got mad. She has BIG, LONG front teeth! Oh, my! The enclosure has glass that reflected too much, so no photos. Here is a site with a webcam.
All around town there are "Phantasic Phils" - fiberglass cartoon statues of Punxy Phil. (A rodent version of the CowParade that we had here in Harrisburg back in 2004.)
We had fun up on Gobbler's Knob - people start arriving at 3 am, but we got there around 5 am. There was plenty of entertainment - music, silly contests, dancing, checking the time and temperature ("BEN! What Time IS it!?") and more. The two-and-a-half hours that we were there went by very quickly. There were plenty of people there in different levels of bundling. TLP kept wrapping Actonbell up in a blanket. Mom had talked so much about how cold it was last year that I really bundled up - two pairs of silk longjohns, jeans and waterproof pants, turtleneck, t-shirt and fleece pullover, two pairs of socks, coat, boots, hats (yes, one under the Groundhog hat) and handwarmers in my mittens and boots. I was HOT! (The temperature was in the teens and low 20's.)
The dots in these photos is snow.
Before dawn, there were fireworks:
here you can see that the sky began to get lighter as dawn approached:
The townspeople were all VERY nice. And there were SO many tourists! I'm glad that we got up there a day early before the crowd. Plenty of camera crews - I met one from Spain and another from Germany. A crew from a new Retirement Living Television
Network (a new channel) took pictures of us, as did a crew from the new Farmers Almanac Network
I told Actonbell that we should visit Punxsutawney in the summer and see how groundhoggish the town is then. Then we found out that they have a Groundhog Festival
We might just have to go, eh?