Arts & Entertainment

It's Groundhog Day, So Here Is the Story of Punxsutawney Phil

6d48b38bc89d33e9d9bb_Screen_Shot_2018-02-01_at_10.51.31_AM.jpg
Punxsutawney Phil enjoys a granola bar from the shoulder of one of his handlers, John Griffiths. Credits: Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
6d48b38bc89d33e9d9bb_Screen_Shot_2018-02-01_at_10.51.31_AM.jpg

With Groundhog Day upon us, thousands will watch in person and even more will tune in from home to see Punxsutawney Phil make his yearly prediction.

As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow at dawn on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter are on its way. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, and early spring can be expected.

Phil may very well be the world’s second most famous rodent right behind Mickey Mouse, but on Groundhog Day, he’s the only one that matters. Each year during the early morning hours of Feb. 2, a large crowd gathers around a tree stump located on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Here, Phil’s faithful followers wait for the 20-pound rodent to exit from the tree stump and give his highly anticipated message.

Sign Up for E-News

Men from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club inner circle, a prestigious group made up of the who’s who in Punxsutawney, take care of Phil all year and plan the big event. At the Groundhog Day celebration, Phil’s official handler, a member of this tuxedo-and-top-hat-wearing group, pulls the oversized squirrel from his stump and lifts him above the packed crowd. After that, Phil tells the group’s president his prediction, it is relayed to the crowd, and then it’s back to eating granola bars and corn until next year. 

The standing Punxsutawney Groundhog Club president is the only person able to interpret Phil’s official language known as “Groundhogese.” While Phil’s all-time predication accuracy is only 39 percent, he isn’t the one to blame.

"Unfortunately, there have been years where the president has misinterpreted what Phil said," former handler Ron Ploucha told pennlive.com "Because Phil's never wrong, Phil's prediction is 100 percent correct, and we blame the variants on the president's interpretation of Phil's prediction."

Phil’s got quite the glamorous life. On top of only having to work one day a year, he starred in the 1993 Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, and has even met celebrities like Ronald Reagan and Oprah Winfrey.

While the stump on Gobbler’s knob is what he’s known for, a groundhog of Phil’s status demands a greater living space. Because of this, Phil spends the year at his house located inside the Punxsutawney Memorial Library. Here, Phil spends time in a man-made burrow with his wife, Phyllis. The two can be viewed from the sidewalk outside of the library or inside from the children’s reading area.

While the average lifespan of a groundhog in the wild is six years, Phil is said to be 132 years old and has survived for so long by drinking Groundhog Punch. Each year at the annual Groundhog Picnic, the furry fellow indulges in this drink that’s said to give him seven more years of life.

Groundhog Punch isn’t the only thing Phil likes to drink. During prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 more weeks of winter if he wasn’t allowed to have the hard stuff.  

Besides his age, his weather predicting skills and the fact that he’s probably the only groundhog who lives in a library, Punxsutawney Phil is special for another reason. Unlike Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, parents never have to explain to their children that Punxsutawney Phil isn’t real. Instead, they may just have to explain that there have been upwards of 40 groundhogs playing the famous weather prognosticator since 1886.

Since 2010, Phil has only predicted an early arrival of spring three times. While many are probably hoping for an end to the harsh cold and snow, the changing of the seasons now lies in the paws of Punxsutawney Phil.  

* * *

Click here to listen to Christian Gravius' podcast with Ethan Kibbe, who attended the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney last year.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Nutley

Relay For Life Hosts IWF Wrestling Fundraiser April 14 at Nutley Parks and Rec

February 19, 2018

Get ready for adrenaline-charged excitement as Independent Wrestling Federation presents a family-friendly Live Event on Saturday, April 14, 7:30 pm to benefit American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at Rec Center, 44 Park Avenue, Nutley.

Headlining IWF’s action-packed 21st Annual LOUD & PROUD extravaganza are Nutley's own Master of Chaos Kevin Knight, plus IWF ...

Investigation Update regarding video and Nutley Public Schools

In regards to the investigation with the video and the Nutley Schools, I would like every resident  to know that the Nutley Police Department has been working throughout the entire weekend and will continue until no stone is left unturned.

Due to the ongoing investigation, I am unfortunately not able to share all of the details that everyone is so anxiously awaiting.

However, please ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_88bbd78485e3963d4faa_mountainside_logo_meridian

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_c0ec2f2fca742d327270_mountainside_bariatrics

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Clifton Library, Allwood Branch, Clifton

Bariatric Seminar-Weight Loss That Works

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_10dac65fb59c2bfc34d4_mountainside_logo_lockup

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_cdfb236ab07208a5d19a_mountainside_bariatrics

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Mountainside Medical Center, Glen Ridge

Bariatric Seminar-Weight Loss That Works

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_52d065817a5fb830fad9_essex_county_parks_logo

Wed, February 28, 7:30 PM

Cedar Grove Public Library , Cedar Grove

Progressive Parks for a Progressive Era:  The ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Carousel_image_c26feb1166468115067b_fish_fry

Fri, March 2, 6:00 PM

Demarest Elementary School, Bloomfield

Fish Fry Fundraiser: Eat In or Take Out!!! ...

Education Food & Drink Giving Back Other

Update on Nutley Public Schools Security

February 23, 2018

February 23, 2018

Dear Nutley Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

I want to once again reach out with an update on the developments of last week’s security threat. I, along with the district administration and Board of Education, recognize that in times of fear and uncertainty, people want information and answers, and we thank you for your patience while the police completed their ...

Mr. Joseph Dwyer Named Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology for the Nutley Public Schools

NUTLEY, NJ  – Mr. Joseph Dwyer was approved as the Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology, PK-12, for the Nutley Public Schools at the Board of Education meeting on January 29, 2018. He began his role on February 1, 2018.

In his new role, Dwyer will be responsible for ensuring that technology is used to support teaching and learning in grades PK-12, in all aspects of ...

On3

Preliminary Accreditation given to Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at On3

February 15, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Accreditation is an essential requirement in the complex process of establishing a new medical school. 

Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is creating a rigorous academic curriculum that combines ...

Prism Capital Partners, ON3 to Host Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 5, 8 in Nutley

NUTLEY, NJ - Prism Capital Partners and On3 will present a two-part Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 5 and 8 in the auditorium of Building 200 on the ON3 campus. Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

The two-part series will feature nationally recognized speakers who will examine trends in urban planning and future growth as New Jersey’s suburbs evolve. The event is ...

Montclair HS Senior Debuts Designs During New York Fashion Week Event

February 24, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair Resident Bria Renee Johnson participated in a New York Fashion Week show with her fashion mentor, Virginia Cathey on February 17 at The New Yorker Hotel. The runway models wore Johnson's fashions on the runway during the event.

The bi-annual event, sponsored by Art & Beauty Magazine, unifies the pageant community and designers who create ...

Essex County Freeholders Celebrate African-American History Month

NEWARK, NJ – At its 2018 African-American History Month Celebration on Wednesday at the Hall of Records in Newark, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community.

Brendan Gill, board president and Freeholder At-Large, first acknowledged African-American contributions, both past and present, in ...

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in East Brunswick Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm today, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Decades Rewind Returns to the Jersey Shore

February 18, 2018

Decades Rewind transports their audience to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!!

RED BANK, N.J.- Returning to the Count Basie Theatre, Friday, March 9th, 2018 Decades Rewind, the national touring concert, dance party and theatrical performance all wrapped up in one blockbuster, high energy show, celebrates the hits of the 60’s, 70’s and ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter February 17 - 23, 2018

February 24, 2018

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can send a (non ...

The Negative Effects Of Prolonged Sitting And Workplace Tips From Pro Staff Physical Therapy

In recent years, media outlets have described sitting as the new smoking. This may seem like a stretch, but once you break that statement down it carries some truth. Cigarettes were not thought to be the cause of lung cancer and other serious diseases until the 1950s. Like the cigarette industry in the 1920s, the effects of prolonged sitting throughout the workday has largely been ignored and ...

Fall Flag Football Registration Now Available

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation are currently accepting registrations for the Spring Season of Flag Football.  

Online registration is available at https://register.communitypass.net/nutley.  The league will begin play in mid-April. This program is open to boys and girls grades 1 through 4.  The fee for this program is $40.00 per child ...

AUDITION PACKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE NUTLEY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION’S THEATRE PRODUCTION OF SHREK JR.

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces that audition packets are now available for the 2018 Theatre Program selection “Shrek Jr”. 

Beauty is in the eye of the ogre in Shrek The Musical JR., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and fantastic Broadway musical.  It's a "big bright beautiful world" as everyone's favorite ogre, Shrek, ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing Is going on Winter Break, returning Monday, March 5


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

 NEWARK - The Archdiocese of Newark is somehow making national news, after Cardinal Joseph Tobin sent out a tweet Wednesday that raised one or two eyebrows. Tobin tweeted "Nighty-night, baby. I love you," Hmm, people asked. Now who ...

Legalized Marijuana - To Every Benefit There Is A Cost

January 24, 2018

Soon NJ will grapple with the legalization of marijuana, as our newly elected Governor has vowed to make this an administrative priority as promised during his campaign.  It’s no secret that this is a controversial topic that stirs up passionate sometimes heated debate from all sides of the issue.  In an attempt to keep it in the realm of facts and data, I present the following ...

Letter to the Editor: Make the Road New Jersey Condemns End of Protected Status for 250,000 Salvadorans

Today the Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans. Effective Sept. 9, 2019, nearly 200,000 people who have been living and working legally in the U.S. for almost two decades, who have American families, homes and businesses, will be subject to deportation. 10,000 Salvadoran TPS holders currently reside in New Jersey.

Make the Road New ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

Jeff Sessions-  “Why would be bring somebody into the country who is illiterate in their own language?”  -To Tucker Carlson on FOX.

The most frustrating thing about the television is the one sided conversations that take place.  When the Attorney General, Jeffrey B.

Fire and Fury at the Wellmont: An Evening with Michael Wolff

February 24, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Michael Wolff, the author of FIRE AND FURY: INSIDE THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE, will be at the Wellmont Theatre on May 18.

Debuting at #1 on the New York Times and Amazon bestsellers lists, the book sold almost two million copies in its first four weeks, making it one of the fastest selling nonfiction books in recent memory. It is now being translated into 35 languages ...

Bridgewater Resident Named Chief of County Investigators for Essex County Prosecutor's Office

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Bridgewater resident Mitchell G. McGuire, 3rd, has been named the new chief of county investigators for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, according to a release.

Acting Capt. McGuire will be succeeding acting chief Quovella Spruill, who is retiring as of Feb. 28.

McGuire will be formally sworn in Feb. 26, and will assume the duties of chief March ...

Fish and Chips Dinner at Grace Church in Nutley

Please join us for the annual Argyle Fish and Chips dinner at Grace Episcopal Church, 200 Highfield Lane, Nutley, NJ, (973.235.1177) on Friday, March 9, 5pm until 8pm, continuous seating, Dine in or Carry out.  Adult $20, Child $10, kids under 3 eat free.  The dinner is a BYOB event.  Chicken available upon request.  Tickets at the door, Adult $25, Child $15.  ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Obituaries

Oct 23, 1933 - Feb 10, 2018
Frances R. Gorzelnik, 84, passed away on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at home in ...
Read more
Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more