(PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa.) — There will be six more weeks of winter Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties.
One of the members of Phil’s “inner circle” spoke before his prediction was revealed, noting that it’s been a “unique year.”
“People have been referencing Groundhog Day. It has felt like at times we’re all living the same day over and over again,” one of the members said. “Groundhog Day also shows us that the monotony ends. The cycle will be broken.”
“Today actually is Groundhog Day, there’s only one,” he added. “There is quite literally a new day coming over the horizon.”
The spectacle that is Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, still went on, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, revelers weren’t able to see him and celebrate in person: This year, it’s all virtual.
A livestream, which had more than 15,000 viewers at one point, played footage from previous Groundhog Day’s ahead of the big reveal.
Then of course, the prognosticator of prognosticators — assisted by his Inner Circle — emerged at dawn. The lore goes that if he sees his shadow as he did this year, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring comes early.
The live stream from Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, is made possible by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office’s Holi-stay PA. The event there – always Feb. 2 – dates back to 1887.
Phil this year, like many years in the past, gave his forecast during a major snowstorm that hit the entire Northeast.