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Groundhog Day in PA: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts an Early Spring

Punxsutawney, Pa.–Pennsylvania’s world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow this morning; predicting that an early spring is on its way. Thousands of fans braved the chill at Gobbler’s Knob in the Pennsylvania Wilds to watch Phil give his highly anticipated weather prognostication and commemorate 125 years of Groundhog Day.

According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning on Feb. 2 and does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring. If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of wintry weather are expected. The annual event that started with a small group of men known as the Inner Circle, now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

With the expected return of warmer weather, it is the perfect time to travel on one of Pennsylvania’s scenic byways, attend a film or art festival or explore the beautiful outdoors on a fishing adventure at a state park. These area few samples of what Pennsylvania has in store for travelers this spring:

  • Tour de Tanks of the UnCork York Wine Trail, Weekends in March, York: Each Saturday and Sunday throughout March, the award-winning wineries of the UnCork York Wine Trail offer exclusive tank and barrel tastings to preview the season's upcoming wines before they are bottled. A single ticket is good for all four weekends and offers wine lovers discounts on purchases during the events.
  • Philadelphia Flower Show, March 6-13, Philadelphia: Boasting the world's largest indoor exhibition of its kind, the 2011 Philadelphia Flower Show, “Springtime In Paris,” brings the landscapes and culture of Paris to Pennsylvania. The annual show is an international favorite and the major fundraiser for Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Green, one of the most comprehensive urban revitalization programs in the nation.
  • Trout and Salmon Fishing Season, April 2 and 16, Statewide:  With more than 83,000 miles of streams and rivers and a large variety of fish, Pennsylvania is every fisherman’s dream. Fishing begins for 18 southeastern counties on April 2 and statewide on April 16.
  • Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, April 7-May 1, Philadelphia: Join in the first-ever Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, a month-long celebration of creativity, innovation and collaboration. The festival will feature 100 performances throughout the city. Everything from fine art and culinary demonstrations to circus performance and hip-hop culture will be explored during the festival.
  • Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, May 11-15, Pittsburgh: Now in its 25thyear, the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival takes place in Oakland on the lawns of the University of Pittsburgh and Schenley Plaza. Festival grounds are free to the public and complement the featured performances with hands-on cultural and educational activities, roving artists, booths and exhibitors.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence. For more information, go to or call (800) VISIT PA; become a fan at, follow us at, share photos at, friend us at, or watch us on

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Media contact:Luke Webber, 717-783-1132  

Editor’s Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at


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The page was last modified: 02/03/2011