Groundhog Handler John Griffiths holds up famed weather prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil after his annual prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PennsylvaniaThis is either the day when people remark what a wry actor is Bill Murray, or when fat guys in top hats make speeches on a frigid day in some town in Pennsylvania with an unpronounceable name before releasing a giant rodent to see if the thing is a vampire or casts a shadow. Or something like that. Anyway, it’s


In recent years, large cities have adopted the Ground Hog Day festivities, which is just being mean to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the originator of Groundhog Day. Their groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, is pretty much the only thing they’ve got going for them.

Does New York City really need the ink? Several years back, NYC’s previous Mayor, Bill DiBlasio dropped the damned Groundhog on its head in one of his first official acts, and pretty much stole Punxsutawney’s thunder when it went viral on YouTube. Now, DiBlasio is nearly 7 feet tall, so the little woodchuck was lucky it survived the fall. Hopefully, the regular sized new guy, Mayor Eric Adams, will handle Phil gingerly, or better yet abolish the whole thing.

The town that boasts Broadway, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, The Met, the Guggenheim Museum, Greenwich Village, Yankee Stadium and a thousand other cool things to see and do looks like it’s picking on little Punxsutawney, PA.

Having the chutzpah to steal their act doesn’t mean big city mayors can pull off the charming appeal that is unique to every small town. What’s next, Sadie Hawkins Day in Los Angeles?

•Suggested Activities: Standing around in the freezing cold.

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