There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties.
Members of Phil’s “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see whether he would see his shadow or not.
Shortly after this year’s prediction was revealed, one of the members of the circle shared a message he said Phil had told him earlier in the day: “After winter, you’re looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brightest springs you’ve ever seen.”
The spectacle that is Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney still went on, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, revelers weren’t able to see Phil and celebrate in person: This year, it was all virtual.
After the inner circle delivered the news, they hung around to take selfies and photographs of themselves with Phil against the fresh blanket of snow. One hundred and fifty cardboard cutouts purchased by fans and featuring photos of them in groundhog gear or with their pets dotted the hillside.
With few media outlets in attendance, Phil was able to avoid the usual throng of interviews and appearances. The quiet stood out during the pandemic-altered event.
“People have been referencing Groundhog Day. It has felt like at times we’re all living the same day over and over again,” one of the inner circle members said. “Groundhog Day also shows us that the monotony ends. The cycle will be broken.”
“Today actually is Groundhog Day, there’s only one,” he added. “There is quite literally a new day coming over the horizon.”