RISMEDIA, January 26, 2010—Fans of Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s world-famous weather-forecasting groundhog, can sign up to be among the first to know if there will be an early spring when he makes his annual prediction on February 2, 2010.
For the first time, Punxsutawney Phil’s followers can receive his official prediction via their mobile device by texting “Groundhog” to 247365 between now and February 2. After the initial text message, participants will be invited to submit their e-mail address to receive additional tourism-related messages.
“Punxsutawney Phil holds the fate of winter close to the vest and in his stump until daybreak on February 2, but the moment he emerges you can be among the first to learn of the forecast on your mobile phone,” said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism at the Department of Community and Economic Development. “While we would love to have everyone come to the Pennsylvania Wilds to see Phil at Gobbler’s Knob, we don’t want anyone to miss his forecast.”
The text promotion was announced during Punxsutawney Phil’s annual visit to the Pennsylvania Farm Show. “Punxsutawney Phil’s popularity has grown so fast in the last few years. The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the perfect place for people to see him in person,” said Mike Johnston, vice president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
In addition to a text notification, a Webcast of the Groundhog Day festivities will be available at www.visitPA.com/groundhog, including links to Punxsutawney Phil-related videos on YouTube.
In a tradition dating to the 1800s, Groundhog Day is celebrated each February 2 in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania Wilds. According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of wintry weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
The more than 30,000 visitors who visit Punxsutawney each year for Phil’s prognostication can expand their experience by exploring the Groundhog Wine Trail or by staying in a bed-and-breakfast featuring a farm-to-table dining experience.
For more information, visit www.visitpa.com.