PUNXSUTAWNEY – Punxsutawney will be hosting the annual Groundhog Day celebration, featuring Punxsutawney Phil, at Gobbler’s Knob Friday. The event is expected to be attended by thousands of people, and the state police are encouraging the people who are planning to take part in the festivities to be respectful and patient with others so everyone can have an enjoyable time.
State police remind those attending that underage drinking laws will be strictly enforced. Additionally, police have a zero-tolerance alcohol rule in effect, meaning absolutely no alcohol will be permitted on Gobbler’s Knob, regardless of age. The state police advise those planning to attend not to bring alcohol on the premises.
A safety procedure is in place again this year, and police will be searching bags that are carried onto buses. Anyone taking a bag such as a book bag or a carry-on bag onto a bus is subject to being searched before boarding the bus. People arriving by other modes of transportation may also have their bags searched before entering Gobbler’s Knob.
As in the past, there will be many buses traveling the roads in the Gobbler’s Knob, therefore, people are reminded to use designated parking areas and ride the bus. There will be no parking on the roadsides in the Knob area due to heavy traffic
Police have issued a reminder that there is no shelter from the elements at Gobbler’s Knob, and people can expect very cold temperatures. Knob attendees should be prepared by dressing for the cold. Those who are bringing children should be sure they are dressed for extremely cold weather.
Traffic patterns and transportation to Gobbler’s Knob are similar to years in the past. There will be one-way traffic patterns in place from state Route 119 south of Punxsutawney, Snyder Hill Road, onto Woodland Avenue, ending at state Route 36.
Buses will be picking up riders at County Market, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, starting at 3 a.m. Friday. Drop-off points will be McDonald’s and Wal-Mart.
Pedestrians wishing to make their way to and from Gobbler’s Knob on foot are reminded to use designated walk areas or walk along the edge of the roadway and in no way impede the flow of traffic. Walking areas will be closely monitored by law enforcement, and failure to follow walking instructions will be quickly addressed to ensure the safety of all and maintain an uninterrupted flow of traffic.