FAQ and Insider Tips for Groundhog Day:
- What is the best place to get information about Groundhog Day 2023?
- All the latest information about Groundhog Day 2023 Celebration and Events can be found at the Club’s Website: www.groundhog.org. We will continue to update the website for current information.
- How do I get to Gobbler’s Knob the morning of February 2nd?
- On Groundhog Day, all roads to the Knob are closed to vehicular traffic to free up access by a fleet of buses that transport visitors. So, access to the Knob is by bus only, unless you have one of the limited number of official Parking Passes.
- If you have a Parking Pass, vehicular access is via Elderberry Hill Road at the intersection of Route 36 South and Elderberry Hill. You can find that location as well with navigation by typing in: Route 36 and Elderberry Hill. The access road has a State Police Checkpoint where you must show your pass.
3. Can I just walk to Gobbler’s Knob?
a. Yes, but keep in mind the Knob is located almost 2 miles uphill from most parking lots downtown.
4. Where do I catch the bus to Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day?
a. There are THREE bus stops available. They are located at: Aldi’s Parking lot (West Mahoning Street/Route 36), Barkley Square (town center in downtown Punxsutawney) and at the Wal-Mart parking lot (Route 119). Parking is available at all locations, but parking is very limited at Barclay Square area.
- Bus passes can be purchased at ticket booths at the three designated areas OR are available for purchase from our website. If you are reading this days or even a week before the event, it is too late to order bus passes on-line. Just get a pass in person at one of the three bus stops!
- Bus tickets are $5 per person CASH ONLY the day of the event.
5. When do the buses start taking visitors to Gobbler’s Knob on February 2nd?
a. Buses start running from the three designated areas (see Question 3) at 3:00 am and will continue until after the ceremony concludes until at least 9:00 am.
6. Are their bathrooms on the buses?
7. Are their bathrooms at the Knob?
Numerous portable bathrooms (port-a-potties) are on site for the event.
- Are there food and beverages to purchase at the Knob?
- Yes. Hot coffee, hot chocolate, other beverages and a limited food selection is available for purchase at the Visitor’s Center through vending windows.
9. Are alcoholic beverages permitted or sold at the Knob?
a. Alcohol is NOT permitted, nor is it sold.
- What should I wear?
- Dress warmly! This is truly an outdoor event just like skiing or playing in the snow! Wear warm, insulating layers and pay particular attention to your feet. You will be standing on ground that will be cold, frozen and most likely snowy. Wear insulated, waterproof boots and warm layers of clothing, including hats, gloves and scarves. Hand and foot warmers are helpful. Many visitors wear their ski and hiking clothes to stay warm and dry.
- It is advisable to check out the weather forecast 24 hours before hand for predicted temperatures and precipitation (Phil can only help you with the weather forecast after the Proclamation!) Bundle up! The event goes on no matter the weather!
11. What do I do if I, or a member of my group, gets really cold?
a. Keep in mind this is an outdoor event and there are no designated indoor warming areas for the general public. A large bonfire is located near the Knob. For cases of hypothermia or slip and fall accidents, medics are available on site.
12. Can I bring a backpack?
a. Yes, you can, for extra warm socks, mittens, snacks, etc, but you cannot bring alcohol and all back packs are subject to inspection. There will be a State Police and local police presence to enforce this rule.
13. Is this a good event for small kids or elderly?
a. No. We caution against bringing small children or the elderly due to the severe cold in the early hours of the morning and limited access to warmth. Also, if it has snowed in days leading up to Groundhog Day, the terrain can be slippery.
14. Is there a spot for wheelchairs?
a. Yes, there is a handicapped access platform for viewing the festivities. Keep in mind there are no paved surfaces at Gobbler’s Knob over which to maneuver wheelchairs or walkers…it is natural terrain. Snow will be cleared for access to the platform however.
15. Are there benches or chairs? What is the set-up for viewing the event?
a. There are no benches or chairs. Visitors stand to take part of the fun! Gobbler’s Knob is a natural amphitheater in the woods. The land where the crowd gathers to watch the festivities is sloped downgradient toward Phil’s stump on the stage. Everyone will definitely be able to see the festivities no matter where they are standing! There’s music, performances, entertainment, special guests, and even fireworks that keep the crowd moving and energized.
16. AFTER the events of Gobbler’s Knob, how do I get back into town for festivities or to my car parked at a bus stop?
a. Your bus pass will also get you off the Knob and return you to the parking lots.
Just remember the name of your bus stop where you left your car.
b. Once the ceremony ends, about 7:30 in the morning, busses will transport visitors back to their cars or to downtown locations. There are lots of activities going on throughout the community after the Proclamation.
- I am looking for something to eat after the ceremony downtown. Are local restaurants open?
- Many local restaurants, groups, churches, and non profits will be open for breakfast and lunch. Access the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce website for more information on hosted breakfasts.
18. If I visit the weekend before Groundhog Day, what is there to do?
- The Visitor’s Center and Gobbler’s Knob is open all year round and open that weekend. There is no charge for visiting the Knob and checking out the Visitor’s Center and Souvenir Shop. The Weather Center downtown is also open along with some other activities. Continue to check our website and the Chamber of Commerce for events that weekend around town.
- When is the fireworks display on Groundhog Day morning?
- Fireworks begin just after 6:30 am and are visible from anywhere on Gobbler’s Knob or nearby areas! Do not miss that!
- When does the Inner Circle get Phil out of the Stump?
- Sunrise! Which is about 7:20 a.m.
- What goes on with the Stage Show? When does it start?
- Check out our website and YouTube for a two minute teaser video of the Stage Show! Inner Circle members Thunder Conductor and Moonshine are there to entertain the crowd starting at 3 a.m. until the Official Proclamation at 7:20 am! There’s lots of music, special guests, performances, with an incredible fireworks display around 6:30 am! Its good hometown fun!
- Can I get my picture taken with Phil?
- Yes. After the Proclamation, Phil stays on at the Stump for those who want their picture taken with Phil.
- What hours is the Knob open February 1 and February 2?
- The Knob closes to the public at 5:00 pm February 1 and reopens at 3:00 am February 2 for buses and visitors and volunteers.
- What happens after the ceremony?
- Phil stays at the stump to get his picture taken with this followers. Some visitors immediately head to check the buses but some stay for picture with Phil, many take the time to buy some souvenirs in the visitors center and many just stay at the Knob to take it all in!
- What is going on downtown on Groundhog Day?
- Check out our website for other activities at Barclay Square, the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center, Community Center and other venues. There are craft shows, breakfasts, lunches, activities for kids.
- How do I get to meet the Inner Circle members?
- The Inner Circle members will at the Knob all morning of February 2nd and throughout town most of the before and after the celebration. You’ll immediately recognize them in their tuxedo’s and top hats. They LOVE to meet visitors get their pictures taken, so don’t hesitate to approach them!
- How do I find out if there are any events tickets still available?
- Check the Website often. Most of the Groundhog Day sponsored events are sold out but there are still some tickets available for some events. Of course, there are plenty of tickets for Gobbler’s Knob that morning to which you can buy a bus ticket online tor that morning.
- Are souvenirs for sale at the Knob on Groundhog Day?
- Yes. A section of Visitor’s Center is set aside for souvenirs sales before and after the ceremony.
- Is there any entrance fee?
- No. Groundhog Day is FREE! There is a five dollar per person fee to ride the bus.
- Can I drive to the Knob February 1st?
- Yes. The Knob will be open February 1, the day BEFORE Groundhog Day, until 5:00pm. The Knob closes to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for site and festivity preparation.
- The Knob opens back up to vehicular traffic on February 2nd around 10 am, after all buses have transported visitors off the Knob.
- Can I take pictures and video?
- Yes. However commercial use of any video or pictures is prohibited without the express written consent of the Groundhog Club.
32. Are their hotels or motels in Punxsy to stay?
a. Yes, there are, but if you haven’t already made reservations, you are unlikely to get a room. This event is so popular that hotel rooms in the entire region often book up a year in advance!
33. Is there a place where I can just warm up and catch a snooze?
a. Yes, check out the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce website for information on the Crash Pad at the Punxsutawney Community Center. Sleeping bags welcome.
34. Can’t I Uber to and from the Knob?
a. The Groundhog Club makes no arrangements with Uber drivers. Even if you found a driver, remember that the Uber vehicle is not permitted on the roads leading to and from the Knob because of the large number of school busses transporting visitors.