punxsutawney

Completely Unscientific Groundhog Day Predictions with @sweetjennybelle

To see more of Jenny’s treats, follow @sweetjennybelle on Instagram.

This #GroundhogDay, Jenny Rodriguez (@sweetjennybelle) is taking bets. Her prediction? Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow and six more weeks of winter are guaranteed. With that said, she doesn’t have complete confidence in the source. “I imagine groundhogs are a bit sketchy,” Jenny, who owns a baking business in Utah, says. “I could see them fibbing for an extended nap.”

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Groundhog Day (1993)
Dir: Harold Ramis
DOP: John Bailey
“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”

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It’s not Groundhog Day without the Pennsylvania Polka.

Greetings From Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Punxsutawney, Pa. is known as the home of the groundhog, the renowned weather prophet.
Points of Interest.
1. P - High School. 2. U - E. Mahoning St. 3. N - Soldiers Memorial Bandstand. 4. X - Mahoning Street Looking West. 5. S - Bird’s Eye View Punxsutawney. 6. U - Post Office. 7. T - Y.M.C.A. and Spirit Building 8. A - Elks Temple. 9. W - Golf Links and Country Club. 10. N - Adrian Hospital. 11. E - West End Viaduct. 12. Y - Bird’s Eye View Bus. Sect.

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Know your stupid holidays: The History of Groundhog Day

Today, dozens of groundhogs were pulled from their homes all across America (and a few in Canada), picked up by the scruff of their necks and watched closely to see if they notice the absence of light passing through their body. This is an old tradition here known as “Groundhog Day”, where the groundhog’s powers of observation are used as a weather predictor. If the groundhog sees their shadow, we will have six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog does not see their shadow, we will have an early spring.

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How I Met Punxsutawney Phil.... One Woman's Journey...

           


February 1, 2011   

Though snowy and freezing cold outside, my desire to get to Punxsutawney was overwhelming.  My GPS was programmed, my bag was packed, my request off work approved months prior, everything was set and ready to go…..all that was left to do was call my mother to confirm what time i’d be swinging by Warren to pick her up for our Groundhog Day adventure….Warren after all was 90 miles closer to our destination…a good half way point from Cleveland…   

“Mom, I’ll be there around 2:30 a.m…. that should give us plenty of time to get to Punxsutawney before Phil’s prediction.” I said through the telephone..  

“Are you crazy” she said.  "There is a massive Blizzard out there… Put on the news, there are car accidents up and down the highways.. we are NOT going to Punxsutawney… You are NOT going to Punxsutawney…We’ll go next year…“

Unfortunately, I knew she was right…Despite my every desire, only a dummy would attempt make a journey in that storm….

That is why my Feb 2, 2011 was spent on the couch, where I loathed in self pity….

365 more days….. 365 more days I repeated… Oh Life, why are you so cruel….. 


January 3, 2012 

"Hey Mom” I said as she picked up the phone…“You still want to go to Punxsutawney this year right? We should really start planning….”

“Oh yea, about that” she said… “Jim booked a cruise to St. Maarten that week.”

“Jim booked a cruise to St. Maarten that week” I said astonished…. “Are you kidding me…. "What happened to… You’re not going to Punxsutawney, We’ll go next year….”

Disappointment, resentment, sadness…..  


February 2, 2012 

Awakening in Warren, OH at 2:00 a.m, my (new) travel companion @ashleyalllison and I had slept like queens….  

“Might as well take advantage of an empty house (Sans the 27 year old brother)” I said to Ashley the week before….

          

By 2:30 a.m. we were on the road..Ashley is the founder of our top secret book club, and also a genius, as she was smart enough to bring an audio tape of our January Book Club pick “Before I go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson…. we popped that bad boy in the CD player and our two hour drive just went right on by….

By 4:30 a.m. we had arrived in Punxsatawney…..

         

As we drove through town I could not keep my eyes on the road… Over-sized groundhog statues were on every street corner………..I knew right then that I would not leave this town until each statue was captured on camera…. I was going to have my work cut out for me…. 

        

       

Even at 4:30 a.m. we were already struggling to find parking…. I was lucky enough to spot one of two spaces left at the old’ “Groundhog Plaza.”   Once parked, we did some bundling, grabbed Ashley’s “Magical Groundhog Elixir”  (Homemade wine spritzers) and trekked on down to "busing"……

For $5, we got to ride on an authentic Punxsutawney school bus that dropped us off front and center at the mornings festivities.   

Within 10 minutes we were there… we had arrived at “Gobler’s Knob”

         

Stepping off of the bus and onto the ground of Gobbler’s Knob was an indescribable moment… I had finally accomplished this goal… Like Ponce de Leon must have felt when he discovered the fountain of youth….

The ground was saturated in mud…. a giant bonfire glowed to the right of me, people scrambling around in the pitch black night… I felt like I was at Woodstock, or a frat party…

Spotting the information booth I made may way down the hill….

“Hello there” said a wonderfully friendly older gentleman in a black overcoat and top-hat.  

“Hello there,” I said.  "Do you have some type of Map I could have"

“Why of course,” he said. “ And I also have this Punxsutawney coin for you…”

And it was then, while holding my new golden coin that the realization hit me…. “This is going to be the best day of my life…….." 

        

4:40 a.m., a golden coin, a relatively good standing spot… We were set….

"Now what do we do.” I said to Ashley… “Phil doesn’t make his prediction until 7:30 a.m”

Well..little did we know that we had ourselves hours upon hours of festivities… 

  • We had ourselves the Punxswutawney dance team... 
  • We had ourselves a Punxsutawney style “Minute to Win It” game show
  • We had ourselves some music…chanting and a drum team…
  • We had ourselves the introduction of the Groundhog King & Queen 
  • We had ourselves a 5 minute trek to the Porter Potties 

And lastly…. we had ourselves some good crowed watching…. Like this guy we spotted across the way….

          

At 6:30 a.m. Phil’s alarm clock went off….. fireworks Booming while Star Wars music was blaring….        

      

7:00 a.m. the show was ready to begin…..The prestigious members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club proudly trotted thorugh the crowd, making a grand entrace on the stage… introductions were made and history of the Groundhog Tradition was told to all………………                                                  

        

Finally at 7:30 a.m… Phil was pulled out of his burrow…. 

        

18,000 onlookers suddenly went quiet…

Phil was ready to make his prediction…..

ThePunxsatawney Groundhog Club curator announced the following, “Six More Weeks of Winter”

“Boo, Boo….. Boo…Boo” the crowed roared…..

Within in 30 seconds half the crowed had taken off…… and that’s when it happened, the best words I had heard that day……..

“Feel free to come up and get your picture taken with Phil…." 

Are you kidding me…………..This thought, this possibility, had never even crossed my mind…it was more than I could have ever imagined… Not only had I gone to Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day… I was about to get my picture taken with Punxsutawney Phil…….

Waiting in line I saw him… Phil clawing inside of a plastic cylinder…. (Did I realize my photo was going to be taken with the bubble boy… no, but none the less I was excited…

       

The kind gentelman of the Groundhog Club took photos for all….

         

And here it is… my new claim to fame…. 

        

By 8:45 a.m. it had all come to an end… the anticipation, the buildup… everything we had waited so long for was over….

But wait…. I thought…. time to explore the city… and explore the city we did..

We went to a tree carving event….

          

Hit up the souvenir shops…

          

Dined at Caterina’s…operated by Punxy’s own Woman of the Year!

           

And lastly…photographed ourselves with as many over-sized groundhogs that we could find…. 

           

           

        

           

By 10:30 a.m. our journey had ended… 

Exhausted… we hopped in the car… turned on the heater… put on our audio book and headed to the Grove City Outlets for some shopping…