Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

The big Gobbler's Knob sign on the stage with Phil's hut.

Man, do I love Groundhog Day. I love Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas like the rest of em’, but I’ve got a very special place in my heart for Phil.

This year was my second time visiting Punxsutawney for the holiday, and it didn’t disappoint. The town goes ALL OUT. It’s perfect. They are so well organized, and the event runs as smoothly as any large event I’ve ever attended. This small town in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (cue Pennsylvania polka here) knows how to throw a party. A big one too. There were an estimated 30,000 people at this year’s event, and that’s even in 14 degree weather.

It’s cold, sure, but the people are nice, and the nonstop entertainment helps you to forget how cold you are. The party starts at 3am up at Gobbler’s Knob, with hosts, music, dancers, confetti, and even a fireworks show. It’s so much fun. There are lots of events in town leading up to Groundhog Day and afterward too. They have Gobbler’s Knob’s Got Talent, a Groundhog Ball and Banquet, Lunch with Phil, and we really enjoyed “Groundhog Days in the Park” in Barclay Square and the Community Center.

If you’ve never visited, I highly suggest you add it to your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed. Save the date for February 2nd, 2024 too. BEN FM is planning a bus trip with listeners.

Dress warmly!

Like really warm. Get tickets to the Hospitality Village to warm up inside if possible, but if not, bundle up in many layers. There’s a bonfire at Gobbler’s Knob too if needed, but it’s still pretty tough on your fingers and toes up there. We didn’t have any wind or precipitation this year and it was still SO COLD.

Plan time afterward to enjoy the town.

I really enjoyed the Barclay Town Center festivities after the event. It has a number of options for food and drink, and everyone is really happy to be outside in warmer temperatures, still celebrating the hog! This year there were caricature artists, ice sculptures, balloon artists, and a band playing groundhog songs on stage. For food options, there were numerous food trucks, brewery tents, cocktails, winery tents,  food trucks, free s’mores, and even free beer from Samuel Adams (one per person with ID). There’s usually a movie theater in town showing the movie Groundhog Day all day long.

Phil’s Burrow

The best for last. Phil comes out of a burrow at Gobbler’s Knob each year on Groundhog Day, but his home (burrow) is right at the town library on the far end of Barclay Town Center. You can enjoy the festivities, listen to music, grab a bite to eat AND visit with Phil and his wife Phyllis. Yep, he’s married. I got a great video of the two of them having a snack. They’re very cute and the window to their burrow allows lots of people to peer in without really disturbing them. They seem to have a pretty great life there in Punxsutawney.

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY! Six more weeks of winter or not, Phil is a national treasure and we’re lucky to be a (fairly) short drive away. See you in Punxsutawney!

~ Kristen

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