In less than seven days, Punxsutawney Phil will make his appearance on Gobbler’s Knob as he has for over 130 years. The crowd, however, will look a little different than the 32,000 attendees that came in 2020 to watch Phil make his annual weatherly prediction.
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced in November of 2020 that the renowned Groundhog Day event, scheduled to occur on February 2nd, 2021, would be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been in continuing contact with health officials and those providing guidance. The health and safety of our faithful followers and everyone associated with Phil’s prognostication has been our number one priority,” said Jeff Lundy, President of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (Groundhog Club).
“We think this is the best decision for Phil, our community, and the celebration,” says Katie Donald, Executive Director of the Groundhog Club. “Even though this year is different and virtual, please join us online.”
The livestream will be displayed on the Groundhog Club Facebook Page, Youtube Channel, and the Visit PA website. The Groundhog Club made sure to have multiple livestream outlets available to ensure that everyone could see Phil’s annual prognostication.
Phil leaves his burrow at 7:25 a.m. on February 2nd. He will observe the weather conditions and look for his shadow before making his prediction regarding the duration of winter.
While this year’s celebration will be different for everyone except Phil, the Groundhog Club has put tremendous work into making the virtual event hold the same magic as the events of the past. Fans, also lovingly referred to as Groundhoggers, are able to purchase cutouts of themselves that will be displayed in the 2021 Groundhog Day “audience” during the livestream! The cutout will be individually photographed at Gobbler’s Knob and available for download. There is also an option to have the cutout shipped to you after the event on February 2nd.
“We look forward to seeing you in person in 2022,” Donald invites. Donald also encourages visitors to make the trip to Punxsutawney, PA throughout the year.
Punxsutawney Phil is typically found at his home in Gobbler’s Knob visitors center. Visitors can see all that there is to explore in Punxsutawney at the Groundhog Club website.
One notable charm to Punxsutawney is the decorated groundhog statues, called Phantastic Phils, that are placed around town for visitors to take pictures with. Make a game of it by trying to find them all!
The Groundhog Club is a nonprofit organization that cares for Phil throughout the year, hosts the annual Groundhog Day festivities, and perpetuates the legend of Phil all year long. The Inner Circle is the Board of Directors of the Groundhog Day Club and can be distinguished by their black top hats. Anyone can join the Groundhog Club to get exclusive benefits and updates about Phil. To join or to learn more, visit the membership page on the Groundhog Club website here.
The Groundhog Club also has a gift shop in downtown Punxsutawney where you can buy all things Phil! The items in the shop are locally made and printed items. When you purchase from the Groundhog Visitors Center gift shop you aren’t just supporting Phil, you are supporting the whole community. Visit the online gift shop here.
The first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day was in 1887. The festival is rooted in the European and German traditions of Candlemas Day which occurred on February 2nd. The legend originally featured a hedgehog but due to the lack of hedgehogs in the United States, a similar hibernating animal was used when the tradition made its way across the ocean: the groundhog. The only time that the typical festivities of Groundhog Day have been changed was during World War II, when the event was canceled due to the ongoing war.
Punxsutawney, PA is located in Jefferson County, which is a part of the PA Wilds I-80 Frontier Landscape. A 13-county region with 6 unique landscapes, 8 scenic journeys, and 1.2 million acres of public land, there are countless adventures to be had in the PA Wilds. Explore all the wonders of Punxsutawney, the surrounding area, and the PA Wilds.