Featured News

A Groundhog Day Celebration like No Other!

We all enjoy Groundhog Day in our own way. Phil’s fans travel from far and wide to be a part of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney. Emeritus Member of the Inner Circle, Mike Johnston, the Big Flakemaker, experienced Groundhog Day 2017 in a whole new way.

After all the years of the unpredictable weather of Western PA, The Big Flakemaker set his sights on a bit of different climate to spend Phil’s big day! He traveled to Hollywood, Florida to take part in a tradition that spans 13 years and raises money for a great cause.

Over the course of the years the Inner Circle members meet a lot of great people, some of which who become friends. Jeff Hansen, is a Phil fan that attended Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney over 16 years ago. While here, he fell in love with the tradition and the town. After making formal ties to the community by purchasing property, a friendship was formed.

Hansen decided to make his own tradition and celebrate Groundhog Day while supporting a cause that close to his heart. He called the event, “Groundhog Day on Hollywood Beach”. There is a live stream of Groundhog Day in Punxsy playing on a large screen on the beach during the event. Their event starts with a breakfast and then participants take the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean when Phil makes his Official Prognostication! All money raised by this event benefits the Hollywood Beach Life Guard Association.

For Groundhog Day 2017, they had over 250 people in attendance and 210 took the plunge. The temperature was 71° with a water temperature that matched. The Big Flakemaker opted out of the plunge which left him without the coveted Groundhog Day Plunge Shirt. Even with official ties to Punxsutawney Phil, the shirt must be earned at this event! The Big Flakemaker reported that spending Groundhog Day on the beach is very different then what he is used to but was a fabulous experience, “The weather was great and so were the people. It was a great deal of fun festive and happy attitude in the air.” When asked which he prefer, Punxsy or Hollywood, The Big Flakemaker responded with, “ The people of Hollywood, FL are extremely friendly and appreciate the Legend of Phil, but my heart belongs to Punxsutawney”.  

The GHC wishes all the participants of “Groundhog Day on Hollywood Beach” many more years of a fun and successful event to come! Thank you for spreading the tradition of Punxsutawney Phil and celebrating it in your own way!