PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Brace yourself for more wintry weather.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.
The rodent was pulled from his stump by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, top hat- and tuxedo-wearing businessmen who carry out the tradition.
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Each Feb. 2, thousands of people descend on Punxsutawney, a town of about 6,100 people about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, to celebrate what essentially had been a German superstition.
The Germans believed that if a hibernating animal cast a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter would last another six weeks. If no shadow were seen, legend said spring would come early.
Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has not seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
An estimated 30,000 people gathered for this year's festivities — about twice the number of people who attended last year, said Marlene Lellock, director of Punxsutawney's Chamber of Commerce.
The turnout was particularly large because Groundhog Day fell on a Saturday this year, she said. The event last was held on a Saturday in 2002.
Fireworks burst overhead and high school students wearing colorful shirts danced onstage as part of the celebration at Gobbler's Knob, the natural amphitheater where the ceremony takes place.
Revelers sang "Happy Birthday" for people born Feb. 2.