punxsutawney-philNews for Immediate Release

Feb. 2, 2012

Governor Corbett Opens Groundhog Day Festivities, Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter Weather!

Punxsutawney – Governor Tom Corbett today kicked off Groundhog Day festivities, highlighting Pennsylvania's unique tourism assets – including the annual Groundhog Day celebration – that attract millions of visitors to the Keystone State every year.

"What started as a small gathering in 1887 has now evolved into tens of thousands of visitors from around the nation and even the world coming to Punxsutawney to participate in this time-honored Groundhog Day tradition," Corbett said. "Regardless of whether Phil predicts an extended winter or early spring, tourists will have plenty of recreational opportunities in Pennsylvania to choose from in the coming weeks."

Pennsylvania's world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow this morning in the Pennsylvania Wilds.  Thousands watched as Phil made his highly anticipated weather prognostication, commemorating 126 years of Pennsylvania's unique Groundhog Day tradition.

According to holiday folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning on Feb. 2 and does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring. If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter weather are expected. The annual event, started with a small group of men known as the Inner Circle, now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, located 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

"As many of you I am sure found out, getting a hotel room within 100 miles of Gobbler's Knob is next to impossible this week," Corbett said. "The economic impact of this multi-day event is tremendous. On average, visitors spend an estimated $200 per day on lodging, food, gas and souvenirs while visiting Punxsutawney during Groundhog Day. "

Media contacts:
Kelli Roberts, Governor's Office; 717-425-1044
Steven Kratz, DCED; 717-571-0197


Each year on Feb. 2, thousands of revelers travel to Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., (northcentral part of the state approximately 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, Pa.) to witness the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog with the mythical ability of forecasting either an early spring or lengthier winter.

With the help of his keepers and protectors, the tuxedo-clad members of the mysterious Inner Circle, Phil shares that prediction with the world from the region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds.
  • If Phil sees his shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter and returns to his burrow. 
  • If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. 
The first legendary trek to Gobbler’s Knob occurred in 1887. This year, Phil celebrates 126 years of prognosticating.  Crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob for a multi-day festival celebrating the town’s most famous resident – Punxsutawney Phil.

Source:, 2/1/12