From Dallas to Gobbler’s Knob: Four generations of Punxsy Phil fans celebrate another Groundhog Day
PUNXSUTAWNEY— Groundhog Day is the one day of the year that brings in visitors from across the nation and other continents.
Traveling from Dallas, Texas, this year were four generations of a family that has made this trek for the fourth time.
What’s special about 2013, however, is the addition of the fourth generation, 9-month-old Michael Davis Harmon.
He joined his mother, Kristen Harmon, grandmother Sally Muhl and great-grandmother Donna W. Davis for his first-ever visit to not only Punxsutawney but to Gobbler's Knob.
These Texans are big fans of Groundhog Day and love Punxsutawney Phil.
"We have celebrated Groundhog Day all of our lives," Davis said, adding that it is a big thing every year.
They family members are avid collectors of all things Punxsy Phil.
Davis is such a big fan that her Texas home is filled with groundhog souvenirs and statues.
"Sally has showered me with groundhog gifts for years," Davis said.
The family couldn’t make the trip to Punxsutawney last year due to Kristen's pregnancy, but they still celebrated Groundhog Day by going to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant and watching a live feed of Punxsy Phil emerging from his burrow.
They wore Groundhog Day hats, pins and t-shirts and ended up celebrating with 15 people in attendance.
This year, they wanted to make the trip not only for Davis, but also for little Michael.
His mother showed him a film of Inner Circle members introducing the town of Punxsutawney, as well as Gobbler's Knob.
Harmon is a first-grade teacher who proudly took pictures of Gobbler's Knob and sent them to her students in Texas.
She also shares stories of her visits with them as well.
Davis, Muhl and Harmon have been all over Punxsy the last couple of years and have visited numerous sites, such as the Weather Discovery Center, the Pantall Hotel and, of course, Gobbler’s Knob.
They also love attending Amish auctions, where they have purchased old quilts to take back home.
One year while visiting for Groundhog Day, Muhl entered and won an art contest that was being held.
The family’s visits also include stops at the Phantastic Phil statues.
“We also love all of the Phil statues throughout town" Davis said.
The first year that she visited, Davis took pictures of every single Phantastic Phil statue.
Once she returned home, her family decided to surprise her by making her an album filled with her photos.
Both Davis and Muhl work in a family-owned business, selling aircraft electronics, but they did not fly to Punxsy.
This year, all four piled into the car and drove the whole way to this town, even traveling through a few snow storms just to get here.
The trip was worth it for the family that donned matching Phil sweatshirts and braved the cold at Gobbler’s Knob.
“I don't think he's going to see his shadow,” Davis predicted before the big day.
While her prediction was correct, Davis did add, “I just don't see winter ending very soon.”
Either way, for this family, it’s all about the fun and visiting Phil’s hometown.
“We have met a lot of nice people here,” Maul said.