Finally did it. Went to Punxsutawney, PA for sunrise on February 2.
They are very organized. And very, very secure. There was a slight delay for the National Guard to check our pockets. Why do we need military at this entirely domestic event? Enforcing, I don’t know, laws? or just event rules? Have there been terrorist threats against Phil?
There must have been 15 buses waiting to take people from the downtown parking area to Gobbler’s Knob. No waiting at all. Except that our particular driver, who was from out of town (these school buses came from all over), didn’t actually know how to get to Gobbler’s Knob from the parking area. So we ended up driving around twice. But it was OK, we made it in time.
The crowd was probably 5,000 – 10,000 people. Lots of cool groundhog hats. One woman had on an outstanding hat AND a fur coat. Overheard 3 young drunk guys discussing their 22 hour drive from Montana to see the groundhog. There was food, band, dancers, lots of portapottys. There was straw on the ground covering both ice and mud. Slippery footing. It was raining. No complaints here – that’s way better than the bitter cold! At least it was warm!
The Inner Circle is formal about the ceremony. Note all the PSP on the edges here.
They had a band play the Star Spangled Banner. It was a very well done bluegrass version. This was just the most American event possible!
So, the rodent called for 6 more weeks of winter. M overheard an older man saying, “Well, it IS a polar vortex!” Hahaha.
And, more cops on the way out. Apparently they were expecting moonshiners. Again, very organized and well done with the buses.
Anyway, it was fun despite all the security. I wonder if or why all that is really necessary.