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So what if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and held that there'd be six more weeks of winter? CNN doesn't even believe in his credibility: "The good news is that, according to analysis by the National Climatic Data Center, Phil is wrong most of the time."
And if Phil is wrong, then that means somebody's got to be right. For 2014, that honor goes to Ohio's own official groundhog weatherman, Buckeye Chuck, who didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Staten Island Chuck of New York and General Beauregard Lee of Georgia even have their own less influential groundhog opinions, but the fact of the matter is that Ohio's big rodent may be slowly supplanting Phil in popularity and prediction success.
HallelujahPunxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow early this morning, when the little famous groundhog was removed from his burrow at Gobbler's Knob, near Punxsutawney, PA. This means an early spring, which is lovely to hear since it's already like Mother Nature took six extra weeks of winter and just layered them on top of the last six weeks.
In order to allow people to show their love for the cute critter and gain a special Foursquare badge at the same time, Pennsylania's Tourism Board has added a fourth badge to their current collection. Unlike the previous three badges, you don't have to be in Pennsylvania to score the Groundhog Day one, but there are still some requirements:
In Woodstock, Illinois, Groundhog Day is the biggest holiday of the year. In fact, the town throws a six-day party called Groundhog Days to celebrate, which this year is January 28 to February 2. But really, every day in Woodstock is Groundhog Day.
That's because Woodstock, which is about 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, was the site for the 1993 Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell flick Groundhog Day. And the town takes the honor of being a stand-in for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, seriously with a slew of events that revolve around the movie.
Bill Murray is definitely showing his age since his appearance in the movie Groundhog Day, but the true hero of the holiday is Punxsutawney Phil; even without plastic surgery he’s looking great. Sure the holiday seems a little silly, but why not check it out in person to truly decide. We’re all for an early spring, so it might just be worth attending this year’s events on February 2.
If you want to rub elbows with Punxsutawney Phil it’s essential that you get to Gobbler’s Knob—that’s where his house is—as early as possible. Admission and parking are free, but the place opens up at 3:00am. There’s separate sections for both students and families, as we’re thinking the students probably had drink or two to help them make it through the night.
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The kids at Thrillist let us know that the real deal in Groundhog predictions can't be found in Pennsylvania, but ironically, can be found at the Staten Island Zoo.
Out on Staten Island it appears Charles G. Hogg, aka Staten Island Chuck, is the real Nostradamus of the rodent world:
Born Charles G. Hogg, Chuck has been kicking Punxsutawney Phil's ass since 1981* -- in a profession where accuracy is everything, he's right 90% of the time (Phil languishes at about 30%).
Besides their groundhog, Pennsylvania is New York's bitch -- and given Phil's statistical inferiority, it's fair to say Pennsylvania's got nothing, period. Except the Steelers.
The Staten Island Zoo opens its gates tomorrow at 7:00AM, and after the ceremony you can have breakfast with Chuck for $10 per person. No word on if Chuck will guess your weight and age at breakfast, stay tuned.
· Ground Hog Day [Thrillist]