Punxsutawney Phil — that prognosticator of prognosticators, that seer of seers — was dragged from what seemed like a very cozy den in a small town in western Pennsylvania at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning to deliver his annual proclamation: there will, he says, be six more weeks of winter.
There was no live crowd to cheer him on this year, but nearly 20,000 people joined via livestream to watch as a socially distanced group of men stood on a stage still bearing piles of snow from the storm moving through the Northeast to wake the critter up, put their ear to his mutterings, and translate whether or not he had seen his shadow.
He had, they declared, for the 106th time in the 136-year history of the event.
One member of Phil’s “inner circle,” perhaps aware that the extension of winter would not be welcome news in this of all years, urged people to look beyond the rodent’s forecast.
“After winter, you’re looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brightest springs you’ve ever seen,” he said.
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