Saturday 2 February 2008

That's right, woodchuck chuckers. It's Goundhog Day!

To add to the list of wacky American festivals we have attended (see my Punkin Chunkin blog) we drove 4.5 hours into rural Pennsylvania to see the seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators. As always we were super organised and decided to do this on Wednesday night, and soon found that every hotel in a 40 mile radius around the tiny town of Punxsutawney was booked solid. We found a bed in Clearfield, slept in it for 4 hours and started driving to Punxsutawney at 4am to make sure we were in time for Phil to get dragged out at dawn (7:30am).

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It was crazy. I'd guess there were about 10-15,000 people there. It was like a weird music festival, and it was pretty damn cold (27°F, -2.7°C) to be standing around outside.

There were some great life imitating art moments:

- They played Pennsylvania Polka. Strike up the music the band has begun....
- They played Bill Murray's speech over the loud speakers.
- The Inner Circle (guys in the top hats) member who read the prediction in the movie is a retired member of the real Inner Circle, and was on stage today.

Oh, and Phil saw a shadow, so six more weeks of winter :(

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