Thousands expected for Groundhog Day festivities

    It’s just about time for Punxsutawney Phil to emerge from Gobbler’s Knob.

    Groundhog Day is Saturday, and the west-central Pennsylvania community of Punxsutawney holds the biggest winter-weather prognostication celebration.


    Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will last for six more weeks. No shadow means an early spring.

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    Phil’s got company. Groundhogs in New York, Atlanta and Ontario also make predictions.

    But Punxsutawney partisans say Phil is the original and the best. Molly Neal, a Punxsutawney native and teacher in State College, baked groundhog-shaped cookies and showered students with stories in Groundhog Day class presentations that have turned into an annual tradition.

    Organizers say about 20,000 people are expected this weekend, a larger-than-normal crowd because Groundhog Day falls on a weekend this year.

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