Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — Thousands of faithful Phil fans converge on Gobbler's Knob to welcome their favorite, furry meteorologist. Yes, Punxsutawney Phil prepares to predict the next six weeks of weather, and the fate of Old Man Winter, as the most famous of all woodchucks searches for his trusty shadow on this Groundhog Day.
If you're only interested in seeing the groundhog himself, don't expect Phil to make his appearance until sunrise: approximately 7:26 a.m. EST. If you're in Punxsutawney, be thankful. Last year, it was 2 degrees during the main event. The 134th Groundhog Day Prognostication runs from 3 a.m. until 8 a.m. this morning.
9 a.m. and 11 a.m. screenings of "Groundhog Day" (1993) are free and can be seen at the Community Center on 220 N. Jefferson St.
Groundhog Day was founded courtesy the traditions of the Romans, who carried the myth to the Germans during the Roman invasions many centuries ago. The story was also based on this Scottish couplet: If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year. Candlemas Day is celebrated each year on February 2nd. It was determined that if any animal came out from its underground hibernation on that day, and the sun was out, there would be six more weeks of winter.
Thus, was born the tradition of the “two winters” or the “second winter.” What began as a tale from ancient times became fact in the early 1880s. A group of residents in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, decided to celebrate Candlemas Day by going to the woods in search of a groundhog. In 1886, the editor of the local newspaper named the group the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The Club deemed a certain hilltop near the town as “Gobbler’s Knob” proclaiming that, from this knob, Punxsutawney Phil could accurately forecast the weather. On February 2nd, 1887, the first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob was made and Punxsutawney Phil delivered his first official weather forecast.
The Punxsutawney groundhog, known as Phil, rose to fame throughout the world. Known as the “Seer of Seers," Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast on February 2nd is recorded in the Congressional Records held in the National Archives and the Library of Congress in our nation’s capital. As news coverage of Punxsutawney Phil’s forecasts became more widespread, so did the interest in the legend.
In July 1966, Gobbler’s Knob was officially opened each year to the public. In 1986, Punxsutawney Phil and members of the Groundhog Club journeyed to Washington, D.C. to visit President Ronald Reagan at the White House. In 1993, the movie "Groundhog Day," starring Bill Murray, became a smash hit in theaters.
Today, the popularity of Groundhog Day continues to grow. As February 2nd approaches each year, the town of Punxsutawney comes alive with special events, celebrations, and fun; thousands of visitors attend the annual trek to see Punxsutawney Phil reveal his forecast.