It was a cold and foggy morning on Skyline Drive as Miss Patty Pagoda made her way out from the historic landmark to make her proclamation. Now in its 17th year, the annual tradition at the Pagoda hosted a small group of residents elected officials.
Before Patty made her appearance, Mike Reinert, President of the nonprofit, Pagoda/Skyline Inc., gave a brief history of Groundhog Day for those in attendance.
“This is the mid point of Winter, and it all started hundreds of years ago as Candlemas Day, when people would bring their candles to Church so clergy could bless them to last for the rest of winter” said Reinert.
“Back in 1887, Pennsylvania Germans started to notice the weather conditions Candlemas Day to foretell the rest of the winter. Somehow or another, they started noticing Groundhog behavior to forecast the weather.”
As the group awaited Patty, Reinert also reminded the small crowd the importance of not littering. “Patty lives in her burrow on Mount Penn and she has one request of everyone. Please don’t dump your trash on Mount Penn, this is Patty’s home, the mountain belongs to patty, and all of us.”
Despite the brisk weather, Miss Patty Pagoda did not see her shadow and predicted an early spring. However, Punxsutawney Phil disagreed. Phil called for six more weeks of winter in front of thousands of fans at Gobbler’s Knob.