Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Perhaps your diary does not remind you of this celebration; mine lists nothing between Epiphany and St Valentine’s. Maybe because the 117-year-old Groundhog festival takes place in Punxsutawney, western Pennsylvania. In less than 24 hours, 30,000 revellers will descend on the town to witness a weather report delivered by a rodent. If Phil the groundhog sees his shadow when he is lifted from his burrow at 7.25am, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring will come early this year. The celebrations began a few days ago with events including the Groundhog Wrestlefest in the Community Centre Gym, a ‘Little Mr and Miss Groundhog’ contest for kindergarten pupils, and a ‘Chilli Cook-Off’ competition at the Christian School. Since 1993, the festival has also included a free screening of Groundhog Day, which introduced to the world this obscure occasion, previously regarded as the preserve of hicks and oddballs. Groundhog Day was not an enormous commercial hit when it opened in early 1993. The $70.9 million it made at the US box office didn’t give it the clout of Jurassic Park, Mrs Doubtfire or Indecent Proposal among the year’s top moneyspinners. But it has… Read full this story
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