Written by Beth Exley
Snowing one day, raining the next? How will the winter of 2020 end? Let’s see what Punxsutawney Phil has to say! Since 1886, this legendary weather prognosticator has predicted when the end of winter will arrive as each February 2nd tens of thousands of his “phans” make the trek up Gobbler’s Knob to watch this furry celebrity make his official announcement. If Phil sees his shadow, we’re in for six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring is right around the corner.
This year’s festivities start on January 31st and end on February 2nd. Here are some highlights that are just a small portion of what this 3-day festival has to offer. There is sure to be something happening to entertain you.
January 31st kicks off the weekend of events with craft vendors, great food, specialty items, and chain saw carving in Barclay Square from noon until 8pm. These vendors will be open again on Saturday, February 1 from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 8am – 2pm. The chainsaw carving will be open Saturday, February 1 from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 8am – noon.
Opportunities for live music for the weekend are many and varied. The Celebration Tent at Barclay Square kicks off on Friday, January 31 with Jason Patrick Meyers from 630pm – 8pm. With his gritty vocals and acoustic guitar stylings, Jason Patrick Meyers captures the spirit of the blue-collar worker in his music. On Friday, January 31st, 1pm & 3pm, Saturday, February 1,10am & 2pm enjoy music, magic, ventriloquism for all ages with Jimmy Swogger and Friends. Saturday night, February 1, from 5pm – 8pm, listen to a live performance from Alex Shumaker. Sunday, Feb 2, from 830am – 10am, see an amazing performance by local and regional artists with Ray’s Final Cut. On Friday, January 31st at 7pm – 830pm, the Historical Genealogical Society on West Mahoning Street will be having entertainment.
The Fireman’s Flashover Club on North Findley Street is hosting Magic Mike’s “Groundhog Comedy Club Extravaganza” on Friday, January 31st. The event includes 3 hilarious, nationally known comedians performing from 7pm & 930pm.
The Annual Groundhog Banquet takes place on Saturday, February 1 at the Punxsutawney High School on N. Findley St. The doors open at 6pm with the dinner starting at 630pm.
The Groundhog Ball takes place on Friday, January 31st from 8pm – midnight at the Punxsutawney Country Club. Punxsutawney Phil will be present. Rudy and the Professionals will be performing. The theme will be the Roaring 20’s.
Gobbler’s Knob Got Talent. Saturday, February 1st. 1:30 pm. Punxsutawney Community Center. The finalists will be chosen at this event by a panel of judges. These two finalists will receive 2 Inner Circle passes, a parking pass, and the opportunity to perform on the stage at Gobbler’s Knob. The Grand Prize Winner will be determined on Groundhog Day morning by the crowd at Gobbler’s Knob and will win the grand prize of $500.
The Groundhog Eve Dance will take place at the Punxsutawney Eagles on Saturday, February 1, from 9pm – midnight. The dance features the band “On the Brink”.
Opening for the Dueling Pianos this year is Nick Forsyth. Saturday, February 1, starting at 8pm at the ATA Building on E. Mahoning St, Nick will perform today’s hits with his acoustic guitar. Dueling Pianos will perform from 9pm – midnight. Dueling Pianos is an all request show with two great musicians on baby grand pianos. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.
On Sunday, February 2, join everyone at Gobbler’s Knob for Phil’s Prognostication, stage show, and fireworks show from 3am – 8am. This year is the 134th trek for Phil to make his famous prognostication.
Many other events are scheduled. Some events require tickets. Go to GroundhogClub.org for more details and events. Find everything that you need to plan a trip to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney online at VisitPAGO.com