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Canopy’s up; summer must be on its way to Punxsy

June 14, 2011

Volunteers from the Groundhog Festival Committee, REACT, Lions and others prepare to erect the huge canopy in Barclay Square Monday to get ready for the annual summer activities (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Every year prior to the start of summer, a huge amphitheater canopy is set up by members of the Lions Club, the Groundhog Festival Committee, REACT and the community in preparation for the summer’s festivities.

“We all owe a huge part of the help to the Lions Club,” Groundhog Festival Committee Chairman Roger Steele said. “They provide us the manpower to get this thing up. We also consult Punxsy Phil for the best day for weather.”

Throughout the summer, not only will the summer stage be used by the Groundhog Festival Committee, but also Music in the Park and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Several years ago, the Groundhog Festival Committee was unsure whether to purchase such a large piece to fit over Memorial Bandstand.

“We started out with leasing the canopy for a year,” Steele said. “Once we set it up, we fell in love with it. The company that built it is still amazed with everything we do with it.”

The canopy acts as a natural amphitheater by forcing the sound out to the audience.

The canopy was completely set up by 6 p.m. Monday with help from Jeff Billet Electric and Dan Ritchie Welding.

Use of the stage and canopy can be requested through Punxsutawney Borough Council and approved by the Groundhog Festival Committee.
For requests or further information, call 938-2947 or e-mail info@groundhogfestival.com.

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