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Virtual Groundhog Day

Will it be an early spring or a late winter?

That’s the question many are wondering ahead of Groundhog Day, a tradition that draws thousands of people from all over the nation.

But this year, things will look a bit different as the ceremony will be virtual.

“It was a difficult decision because we had to decide six months ago just so we can plan for it and as everyone knows last summer things were looking a little more promising,” said AJ Dereume, Phil’s Handler.

As COVID-19 cases started to rise, they made the announcement to go virtual in November.

A decision that impacted many.

“This will be my 13th year here to celebrate my birthday on February 2nd and unfortunately won’t be able to be down at the Knob but we’re going to do it virtually from our bed and breakfast,” said Pam Merkin, a Texas native.

Pam Merkin usually heads to Gobbler’s Knob at 3:00 in the morning on Groundhog Day but this year she’ll be there in spirit.

“They were selling crowd cutouts and all of us bought a crowd cutout to be there so we actually will be there we just won’t be there live,” she said.

AJ Dereume said a virtual Groundhog Day will impact local businesses but this is the best decision to keep everyone safe.

The virtual ceremony can be streamed on the Groundhog Club’s Facebook Page and on their website.

The Groundhog Day virtual ceremony will start at 6:30 am on Tuesday.

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