By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the first time in history, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania will battle with the Super Bowl for worldwide attention for a big annual event on Sunday.
The 1993 Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog Day,” put the annual spring weather prognostication of Punxsutawney Phil on the world’s pop culture radar.
And, even though the Super Bowl is being played this year on the same day, a couple hundred miles away in East Rutherford, New Jersey, folks in Punxsutawney aren’t worried.
Michele Neal, who’s director of Punxsutawney’s Chamber of Commerce, say they’re expecting 20,000 people to gather on Gobbler’s Knob for Phil’s annual February 2nd appearance:
“We really don’t think that’s going to be much of a deterrent. There will probably be some of the day trippers who would have come in who might be staying home to watch the Super Bowl. But the people who have been planning it for over a year, because a lot of people do, they’re still going to be here. We’ll have people who are close enough to come in be here for the event, go home, take a nap and be up for the Super Bowl.”
Neal says regardless of what else is going on, the whole event is a lot of fun and worth seeing in person:
“The people here all seem to love Phil and have an affinity for him and it just shows and people who have visited have just said that the warmth that they feel in Punxsutawney is wonderful.”
Neal even recommends putting it on your Bucket List.