In what year did the first official Groundhog Day celebration take place at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania?
The first official Groundhog Day celebration was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Clymer Freas, who sold a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters—known collectively as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—on the idea. The men trekked to a site called Gobbler’s Knob, where the inaugural groundhog became the bearer of bad news when he saw his shadow. That took place on February 2, 1887.
Nowadays, the yearly festivities in Punxsutawney are presided over by a band of local dignitaries known as the Inner Circle. Its members wear top hats and conduct the official proceedings in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. (They supposedly speak to the groundhog in “Groundhogese.”)
Also known as woodchucks, groundhogs belong to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. They grow up to 25 inches long and can live for 10 years in captivity. (According to legend, Punxsutawney Phil is more than 125 years old thanks to the magical punch he imbibes every summer.) Groundhogs really do spend the winter hibernating in their burrows, significantly reducing their metabolic rate and body temperature; by February, they can lose as much as half their weight. When they’re out and about, the bristly rodents eat succulent plants, wild berries and insects—and they don’t mind helping themselves to garden vegetables or agricultural crops.
NET CHECK IN’s:
A total of 32 people checked into the net tonight and only 1 got the correct answer to the Trivia Question. Congratulations to:
- AD6UP – Louie
Thank you to everyone who checked into the net and helps to support the Association.