Six More Weeks of Winter? Yes, Please!
It seems like winter has just arrived in the Northeast Kingdom, but on February 2 Punxsutawney Phil will be poking his head out of the ground and predicting how many more weeks of winter we’ll get. For fun, let’s find out a little more about this tradition. Groundhog Day is derived from the German tradition of marking Candlemas as “Badger Day.” According to an article on GoErie.com, it was 1886 when Groundhog Day first appeared in a Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, newspaper. The following year was the first visit to Gobbler’s Knob, home of Phil’s Stump. The Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, the 15 members tasked with protecting Phil, claim it’s been the same groundhog since then. Every year in late summer the club feeds Phil his “Elixir of Life,” made from a secret recipe, which has helped him sustain his longevity. Over the years, Phil has had some notable accomplishments, including meeting President Ronald Reagan in 1986, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1995, and in 2001 Phil’s prediction was show live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City.
Despite what Phil has to say about it, here in the Northeast Kingdom we’re celebrating winter all month long, including this weekend’s Winter Carnival in Island Pond. Later this month, the Newport Winter Festival will feature snow sculptures, broomball, skating, sledding, and more. Visit our blog for more information on these and other events happening in February.