Harrisburg – Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, paid a visit to the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to help the departments of agriculture and community and economic development promote Pennsylvania’s top two industries – agriculture and tourism.
In an event emceed by the 2009 Pennsylvania Fair Queen Nicole Clemson, Phil joined Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, the secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development George Cornelius and Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism.
According to folklore, if Phil sees his shadow when he emerges from his Jefferson County burrow on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not, there will be an early spring.
Redding encouraged the more than 30,000 people who travel to Punxsutawney each year for Phil’s prognostication to make the trip more memorable by exploring the Groundhog Wine Trail or staying in a bed-and-breakfast featuring a farm-to-table experience.
Travelers can plan their trip with Keystone Country (www.visitpa/things-to-do/see-more-pa/keystone-country/index), the agriculture department’s interactive Web site, or chose from pre-planned trips for Western Pennsylvania that highlight agritourism destinations like farm stays, farm markets and roadside stands, county and community fairs and wineries.
“The user-friendly trip-planning tools can help travelers find their way through our state’s bountiful agricultural communities and build a connection to where their food comes from,” said Redding.
For the first time this year people will be able to get Phil’s official prediction via their mobile phone by texting “Groundhog” to 247365 between now and Feb. 2. PA Fair Queen Nicole Clemson and Dee Kaplan, Deputy Secretary at DCED were the first to text in.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 285 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 9-16 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.
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