2018 Groundhog Day celebrations around Central PA

Groundhog co-handler John Griffiths holds up groundhog Punxsutawney Phil before Phil’s annual weather prediction on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA– Groundhog Day is right around the corner, as it will be celebrated on Friday, February 2.

Here’s a list of all of the Groundhog Day celebrations in our area:

DAUPHIN COUNTY

Shipoke Sheena

Saturday, Feb. 3rd

10am-12pm

Broad Street Market 1233 N. 3rd Street Harrisburg

Ground Dog Day is Central PA’s own unique, quirky, fun take on Groundhog Day. Forget Punx Phil–We have Shipoke Sheena, a dog dressed as a bear pretending to be a groundhog, predicting the weather and the likelihood of an early Spring. Come out for the fun–a brief ‘ceremony’ with special guest actor William Sanderson (star of Blade Runner, Newhart, Deadwood, and True Blood), Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, Masters of Ceremonies Rev. Hal Fox and local historian Howard Parker, and–of course–Shipoke Sheena. Afterwards, there will be live music by Jonathan Frazier and all of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Broad Street Market. Free hats and buttons in limited quantities. For more information, click here.

LANCASTER COUNTY

OCTORARA ORPHIE

Every year the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of Quarryville has held their observance at the Chateau in the Valley of White Rock located at 248 White Rock Road in Kirkwood, PA. During the event, the chairman of the Hibernating Governors will announce the weather forecast from the Pinnacle of Prognostication following consultation with Octorara Orphie. The festivities will begin early on Feb. 2, with lodge members arriving at the Chateau for breakfast as early as 4 a.m. At 8 a.m., the lodge members will line up for the traditional parade through the covered bridge that spans the nearby Octorara Creek. The parade will conclude in front of the Chateau, where the observation squads will give their reports. The observance will also include the induction of new members into the lodge. Each year’s Baby Class is carefully chosen following a rigorous selection process. Applicants must be at least 35 years old, as the lodge’s bylaws require all members to be eligible to be a president of the United States. During the induction, one of the Babies will be dunked into the icy waters of the Octorara Creek.

MOUNT JOY MINNIE

February 2 @ 7:00 am – 8:00 am

Start off Ground Hog Day with Mount Joy Minnie!
She will be making her annual appearance at Rotary Clock (E. Main Street and Marietta Avenue) but we need a lot of people to make noise and wake her up! Bring the family out, enjoy some refreshments and cheer loudly to bring Mount Joy Minnie out for her winter forecast! Don’t forget to wear your silly/bizarre hat for the “silly hat” contest. You never know, you may win a prize!

LEBANON COUNTY

Groundhog Uni

Everyone is welcome to hear what Myerstown’s favorite Groundhog Uni has to say what the weather will be in the next six weeks. This year we will also celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Myerstown. Come out and celebrate Uni’s forecast.

The annual celebration of our weather forecaster in the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition will be held Friday February 2, 2018 at 8 am, at the Myerstown Recreation Park on South College St. Myerstown PA.
Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17 of Eastern Lebanon County a group of men dedicated in persevering their Pennsylvania Dutch roots have hosted this event since 1981.

Mt. Gretna Grady

This year marks the debut of Mt Gretna Grady.  The groundhog, sporting a scarf, aviator cap and goggles, will come out of his hole to provide this year’s winter forecast. If he sees his shadow, he’ll retreat back into his lodge and go back to sleep. But if he doesn’t, he’ll stay outside to play. There will be refreshments and memorabilia for sale. This event is a fundraiser for the Mount Gretna Volunteer Fire Company.

YORK COUNTY

POOR RICHARD

06:15 am – 02/02/2018 @ Elks Lodge in York

The York Slumbering Groundhog Lodge is reported to be the third oldest Groundhog Lodge in the United States, founded in 1928.

The Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of York prides itself on carrying on the tradition of recognizing the importance of the groundhog in predicting the weather for the remaining 6 weeks of winter. Very rarely has York‟s own “Poor Richard” been wrong.

On Friday, February 2, 2018, at sunrise,7:15 A.M, this 90 year old York Slumbering Groundhog Lodge, will meet to conduct the traditional ceremonies at the Elks Lodge # 213, located at 223 North George Street (rear) in York, Pennsylvania.

Pre-festivities begin at 6:30 A.M. with breakfast at the Central Family Restaurant.

The ceremonies will begin at 7:15 at the York Elks Lodge with the annual reciting of the Groundhog pledge, induction of new Groundhog members and then reading of the weather predictions (prognostications).

Libations to follow at the Lodge.

This special 90th Anniversary event will also feature a very special recognition dinner, to be conducted at B.P.O.Elks 213 Lodge. The dinner is for Groundhog Lodge members, Elks Lodge members and their guests only. Music will follow from 8-11 pm.

Music will be open to First Friday participants starting at 8 pm.

Dover Doug

The mascot will be out for his prediction, at the Dover Community Park.


Of course, the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil, will have is own celebration in the western part of the state.

Details on that celebration can be found here.