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Groundhog's Forecast: More Winter

Get ready for six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil, the nation's most famous furry weather prognosticator, has seen his shadow.

"As I said it's all about fun, but I'm sorry to say I see my shadow today," said Phil through one of his spokesmen.

"Six more weeks of winter!" said CBS News Early Show weatherman Dave Price, in Punxsutawney.

"A lot of angry people at you, man," Price told Phil.

Georgia's groundhog, however, did not see his shadow, meaning an early spring.

In the years since The Punxsutawney Spirit first carried word of the groundhog's failing to see its shadow in 1886, Punxsutawney, Pa., a town of 7,500 people about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, has been dubbed the "Weather Capital of the World."

The tradition stems from the Christian holiday of Candlemas, and the belief that if a hibernating animal sees its shadow, winter will last another six weeks. If there's no shadow, spring will come early.

Whether Phil sees his shadow is beside the point, however. Organizers of the event and the festivals, concerts and craft fair say Groundhog Day is all about the fun — and a chance to shake winter's chilly cloak.

An energetic crowd of about 2,000 people were already assembled by 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. Most were bundled up against the cold, but at least one young woman braved the weather in a bikini top.

Nikki Wehrmann and her 9-year-old daughter, Arianne, had on layer upon layer as they huddled over coffee and hot chocolate. Arianne was taking the day off from school to see Phil, her mother said. They live in nearby DuBois.

"We considered this an educational purpose," said Wehrmann, who told her daughter about the history of Groundhog Day and plans to have Arianne do a project on the event.

"And anything that brings 20,000 or 30,000 people on some years we have to do it at least once," Wehrmann said.

Resident Sue Lingenfelter said the annual frenzy, and just how famous Phil is, still amazes her.

"I just placed a catalog order yesterday and the guy said to me, 'Is your town ready to go crazy?"' she said.

Ward Brown, 50, and his sister Suzy Fulkerson, 41, came from Sparta, Ill., although they tied the trip in with a visit to their sister, who recently moved to nearby DuBois.

"It was a good excuse to visit her," said Brown, who was toting a $75 stump of wood a craftsman had carved into the shape of a groundhog sporting a top hat.

According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club — the volunteer group in charge of Phil and the town's Groundhog Day festivities — Phil saw his shadow for the 94th time last year. He hasn't seen his shadow 14 times; nine years have no record of the outcome.

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