By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PUNXSUTAWNEY (KDKA) — Punxsutawney Phil is predicting six more weeks of winter. Early Tuesday morning at Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow when he emerged from his stump.
When Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, as the tradition goes, it’s bad news for those of us hoping for a return to warmer weather sooner than later. If he doesn’t see his shadow, he’s predicting an early spring.
(Photo Credit: Visit PA)The President of the Groundhog Club Jeff Lundy is the only one who speaks Groundhog-ese. Holding the event virtually for the first time ever weighed heavily on him as he prepared on Monday. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. I did not really understand the economic impact until now,” he told KDKA. “And now I see it, because so many businesses they don’t depend on on Groundhog Day, but it really is that extra income that you may not get so it has had a, it has had a very very negative impact on the community. We’re hoping to make up for it that when people start traveling you know they start coming to town. You know, we’re still going to be here. And we hope the tourists continue but but it has had a negative impact just like with everybody else.”
Since Bill Murray and company came to town, Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney have taken on a much more high profile life.
Lundy says its year-round as people drive up from Pittsburgh, or see the Punxy exit off I-80 and decide to come take a look at the iconic town. “There are at least 20 to 30 people at the knob, every day of the year.”
And each day, “Phil is in his Zoo at all times. He’s available at the Knob and if people come and they get ahold of us and they want a photo with with Phil himself, we’ll try to make that accommodation.”
Since the movie came out in 1993, the name Groundhog Day has taken on a new meaning and Lundy and company embrace the brand, “That’s continues and probably will for sometime. I mean how many times during this COVID have you used the phrase its just another Groundhog Day.”
It’s even in the dictionary listing Groundhog Day as a secondary defination — referring to a time loop of experience with everyday feeling the same.
As for shadows seen or not, rarely does Phil predict an early spring.
In 135 years over a hundred times he’s emerged to announce in Groundhog-ese, six more weeks of winter “is what I see.”