PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Goodbye January. Goodbye minus temperatures. We hope.
We’re getting a brief respite now, but will it continue?
The answer comes Sunday at the crack of dawn, Groundhog Day, on the windswept peak of Gobblers Knob.
Lumber and coal have taken a back seat to Punxsutawney Phil, ever since that movie made him an international star.
Visitors flock to his burrow in the library hoping for a peek. And the souvenir shop is chock full of woodchuck wonders.
Even a producer from The Weather Channel can’t resist.
“We’re here to do the coverage,” Trish Ragsdale says, “but you can’t do the coverage without participating a little bit. So we all have a little something from Phil.”
Groundhog co-handler Ron Ploucha gets some tips from members of the Inner Circle, past and present. They’re the guys who wear the top hats.
“We take very good care of Phil,” Ron says. “This has been going on for 128 years and he’s at least that old.”
Although, he has been known to bite the hand that feeds him.
“I get nipped quite often, yes,” the handler admits.