Live Groundhog Day festivities

February 2, 2021 • 5:34 am

UPDATE: According to the AP, Phil didn’t see his shadow this  morning (it’s snowing there), and so it will be another long winter, just what we expect this curséd year:

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.

Members of Phil’s “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. atGobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see whether he would see his shadow or not.

Shortly after this year’s prediction was revealed, one of the members of the inner circle shared a message he said Phil had told him earlier in the day: “After winter, you’re looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brightest springs you’ve ever seen.”


It’s Groundhog Day, and all eyes are fixed on Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where the hapless rodent will be extracted from his cage and made to observe whether he has a shadow. The Festivities apparently begin in a few minutes, though it’s dark out there. This year’s celebration will be virtual: there will be no big gathering, but Phil will nevertheless appear, hopefully masked and socially distanced.

If Phil sees his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, we’ll have an early spring.

The handlers apparently see the whole event as theological, for Phil cannot be proven wrong!  As Pennlive notes:

Groundhog Day lore is that Phil isn’t just any groundhog, obviously, but a magical one, gifted with longevity as well as meteorological wisdom.

But since even magical groundhogs apparently can’t speak English, it falls to the members of the Groundhog Club to interpret Phil’s predictions. According to them, Phil is always right; it’s their interpretations where issues of accuracy come into play.

As far as their track record: as of last year, the predictions to come out of Punxsutawney are accurate around 39 percent of the time.

In other words, Phil ain’t William Lane Craig.

When it begins (I believe the times are Eastern time, i.e., NOW):

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club will be broadcasting its in-person event this morning, and you can watch the livestream to see whether Phil sees his shadow in real time.

The broadcast starts at 6:30 with pre-recorded segments, and will switch over to a live feed at 7:15 a.m. as the inner circle of groundhog handlers consult with Phil to determine whether the beloved rodent has seen his shadow (dooming us to six more weeks of winter) or not (blessing us with an early spring).

18 thoughts on “Live Groundhog Day festivities

    1. The good thing is that many of them are apparently anti-vaxxers. An old friend told me yesterday that his sister, a ~67y/o hardcore Tr*mper, brought him 15pgs of hardcopy touting, among other things, the great success that Sweden had with their lax restrictions v the virus. Her male companion was apparently one of those involved in the assault on the Capitol. Nothing that my pal has thrown back at her over the past year has had any effect.

      Back when I knew her in highschool, she always seemed reasonably intelligent.

  1. If the predictions are correct 39% of the time, then it’s a greater probability to assume the inverse of the prediction. Who said that theology didn’t do jokes?

  2. Phil didn’t see his shadow this morning (it’s snowing there), and so it will be another long winter, just what we expect this curséd year

    If he’s only right 39% of the time, isn’t that good news?

  3. Some news agencies are reporting that the groundhog did see his shadow so there are six more weeks of winter. Others are reporting that the groundhog did NOT see his shadow so there are six more weeks of winter. Since it’s all arbitrary, it doesn’t really matter.

  4. What fascinates me – and fascinates is the wrong word but I don’t know what the right word might be – is how so many photographs of people who perished in the Holocaust have survived. Are the photos like the one above generally ones that were sent to relatives outside Germany and that have surfaced over the years, or did they survive in the places where the people were deported from?

    Guessing the former explanation but I also remember once hearing that belongings were strangely being saved for an eventual museum about Jews once they were all gone.

  5. Groundhog Day was the only day both my wife-to-be and I could get off work together to be married 42 years ago. Easy anniversary to remember. No matter what Phil sees, it means one more year of marriage for us.

    1. Semi-coincidentally, my wife and I used to live close to Punxsatawney for a while. So Groundhog Day has some meaning for us. But our anniversary is super easy to remember: New Year’s Day.

      1. We used to drive through Punxatawney on our way to visit my parents outside Pittsburgh. The kids used to love the statue of Phil. We usually didn’t go anywhere near Feb. 2.

  6. Eh. Ever since I came to the US (1992) I’ve always thought that was a stupid and tiresome production mainly hyped by NBC. Thankfully people in other countries don’t know about it very much – it is part of our crazy-stupid matrix that doesn’t filter out.
    D.A. NYC

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