Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil's Competition

Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania signalled six more weeks of winter when he saw his shadow this morning. But although Phil wore the crown of Groundhog Day prognosticator, his rivals were making sure he wasn't the only rodent in the spotlight this year. Octorara Orphie and Sammi II, who replaced Sammi I after a heartstroke after riding in a parade, are fighting for equal attention and hoping to prove they are the real deal. President of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle Bill Deeley, a group of businessmen who have used groundhogs to predict weather since 1887, however, claims his own operation is "the real McCoy," and says Phil's competitors are "impostors." Deeley used Phil to determine the weather forecast for the rest of winter Tuesday morning, and entertain a crowd of 15,000 people as he raised the rodent into the air to observe his shadow. Yet many are quick to call Phil a fake, since he doesn't stand on the ground or have the chance to return to his burrow if it's sunny. Whatever special rodent used, thousands gathered Tuesday to observe the Groundhog Day tradition.