Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Thursday, signaling six more weeks of winter, as he emerged at around 7:25 a.m. ET to an energetic crowd of more than 18,000 in Punxsutawney, Pa.
Many in the crowd were wearing groundhog hats and groundhog costumes. Those not in costumes were bundled up, hoping that Phil would emerge with news of an early spring.
Before Phil made his appearance, thousands partied at Gobbler's Knob. Love Shack by The B-52's played as the Inner Circle and others danced around Phil's tree stump, mock knocking on his door to the lyrics Bang, Bang, on the Door Baby. The festivities continued with celebrations for those lucky enough to have a birthday on Groundhog Day.
The rest of the Inner Circle soon marched in with their suits, bow ties and top hats. Booming voices cheered as the Inner Circle took the stage. It was soon after that the chants for Phil began.
This is perhaps one of the largest weekday crowds we've had, announced Jeff Mundy an Inner Circle member. Should he see his shadow there will be two winters, Mundy told a crowd that subsequently started booing. Should he not see his shadow, spring will be around the corner, he said, turning the boos to cheers.
The Inner Circle continued with a little background music for the crowd. Our president is the only person in the world that is gifted to understand the language of 'Groundhogese', said an Inner Circle member. Groundhogese lacks words, but is instead a wink of an eye and a cock of a head. As an Inner Circle member jokingly added, Groundhogese is one little animal communicating with one big animal.
The president of the Groundhog Club, Bill Deeley, announced to the crowd that they had to wake Phil up. The chants for Phil continued. With a couple knocks on the door, Phil's handlers took him out of his tree stump to a roaring crowd of flashing cameras and applause.
The big moment had arrived.
Punxsutawney Phil cast an appreciative glance at the thousands of faithful followers before the Inner Circle announced six more weeks of winter to a booing crowd. But the disappointment didn't last long, as one look at Phil's face had the crowd once again yelling, I love you Phil!