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Groundhog Day 2008 February 2, 2008

Posted by flutebrarian in Generalities.
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Ever since we met, my husband has always wanted to go to Punxsutawney to see the groundhog. Then Bill Murray came out with the movie in 1992 and it became one of our favorites. Today, the dream finally came true and at 3 A.M. (yes, 3!) the alarm went off and we made our way into Punxsutawney to see what all the fuss was about.

Jim’s life dream

After driving around town we finally found a spot to park on the street not too far from a shuttle bus stop. The line moved quickly as bus after bus filled and left for Gobbler’s Knob.

The Knob had opened at 3 a.m. for the festivities. By the time we finally made it there at 5:45 a.m. the field was filled with people. DJs, live radio broadcasts, and yes, Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” were playing over the airwaves.

Even with all our layers of clothing, heavy socks, and boots we were still pretty cold. The temperature was about 28. The crowd, estimated at about 20,000, helped to block the wind. The line for coffee and hot chocolate was about 15 minutes long but was well worth it just to get something warm in us.

Puxsy Phil Makes His Prediction

At 6:30, the pre-dawn skies lit up with fireworks. Around 7:30 it was time for the Inner Circle to make their way to the stage with Phil for the moment we were all awaiting. But, with that many people in the crowd, it was impossible to see the prognostication. However, we could still hear – he saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter.

And with that, the crowd dispersed quickly and we were able to get close enough for a couple good shots. It’s amazing how much Phil’s handler looks like Bill Murray. Coincidence?

We made our way back into town on foot (about a mile and a half and all downhill!) with the rest of the crowd and finally got some blood flowing to get us warmed up. We took in the breakfast buffet at the Eagles and a couple other events before hitting the road.

It was a fun experience and definitely worth it but not one we expect to fulfill again – or will we? (cue the Sonny and Cher music …)