JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not will make no difference to this party.
The Groundhog Day Music Festival will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday at The Freight Station, 20 Matthew St., and from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Stadium Pub & Grille, 101 Washington St., downtown Johnstown.
Music will be provided by Cajun Norm & The Jam Session Band, who play an eclectic mix of rock 'n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and oldies.
Norm Chynoweth, a member of the band and an organizer of the event, said this year they’ve decided to expand the festival to a two-day event.
“The Groundhog Day Music Festival has developed a bit of a following over the years, and we feel very fortunate because the community has really rallied around it,” he said.
The idea for the celebration originated with Chynoweth, who has had an interest in all things Punxsutawney Phil for many years.
“The goal is to bring people together to celebrate in some revelry with his royal majesty – the groundhog – during what is typically a bit of a slow time of year,” he said. “It’s something fun.”
In addition, there will be groundhog memorabilia on display that will feature hats, dolls, posters, books and an array of Phil artifacts.
“I’ll also have some anecdotes along the way and some very surprising historical facts about Groundhog Day,” Chynoweth said.
Prizes will be awarded throughout the event.
“It’ll be odd and wonderful Groundhog Day paraphernalia,” Chynoweth said.
There also will be some special songs performed in recognition of the holiday.
Chynoweth, who has made the trip to Gobbler’s Knob a few times, was honored by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club with a placard naming him an official groundhog ambassador.
“My role is to promote the holiday and make people more aware about the history of it,” he said.
Chynoweth said he’s hopeful the music celebration will attract people who want to enjoy the Groundhog Day holiday.
“It’s the best holiday to celebrate because there’s no cards or gifts,” he said. “It’s going to be more than a fun time, so bring your kids and bring your grandmother because it’s worth a look.”
Stadium Pub & Grille will offer drink features throughout the evening on Saturday.
There is no cover charge at either location.
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