Pennsylvania Adds Exclusive Slinky® Component to Groundhog Day Foursquare Partnership

Jan 08, 2013, 14:40 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development

Unlocked Badge at Gobblers Knob Results in Toy Giveaway

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Tourism Office announced today the continuation of its partnership with location-based social media platform Foursquare for Groundhog Day 2013 with a custom badge available to Groundhog fans worldwide.

Also new this year, Foursquare users who check in at Gobbler's Knob will also receive the celebrated Pennsylvania-made toy, Slinky®.

"We are thrilled to enhance the ever-popular Groundhog Day Foursquare partnership this year with one of Pennsylvania's, if not the country's, favorite toys," said First Lady Susan Corbett at today's announcement. "As the official toy of the commonwealth, Slinky® was the natural choice for a one-of-a-kind addition that highlights one of Pennsylvania's most recognizable and favored items."

For the third consecutive year, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office is encouraging Groundhog Day visitors and worldwide fans to use Foursquare to celebrate Punxsutawney Phil's 127th prognostication. Foursquare users who follow Visit PA can unlock the special 2013 Pennsylvania Groundhog Day badge by checking in at any location and shouting "groundhog" on February 2 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

This year, for the first time, Foursquare users who unlock the Pennsylvania Groundhog Day Foursquare badge at Gobblers Knob will receive a Slinky® in a customized Groundhog Day box when they show their check-in to the attendant at the Groundhog Day RV. Slinkys® will be given to the first 500 people who participate and Slinky® Master Tom James, the son of the toy's inventor, will be onsite to sign the special boxes.

For James, providing Slinkys® in customized Groundhog Day boxes for so many Punxsutawney visitors from both near and far was an easy decision.

"Slinky® has long held a sense of wonderment, and its appeal is never-ending, just like Groundhog Day," James said. "I'm so pleased we are a part of this year's festivities in Punxsutawney. Regardless of whether Phil sees his shadow Feb. 2, there will certainly be a 'spring' in Punxsutawney with Slinky®."

Additionally, those who receive a Slinky® at Gobblers Knob will have a chance to win the Ultimate Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Getaway, which includes a one-night stay at Gateway Lodge Country Inn Resort & Spa with dinner and breakfast, featuring locally sourced cuisine; a meal at Allegheny Grille; treats from Yeany's Maple Syrup, such as pure Pennsylvania maple syrup, candies and coated nuts; a visit to BWP Bat Factory, complete with a personalized baseball bat; souvenirs from Punxsutawney Phil's Official Souvenir Shop; and a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh ride in Elk County.

"We not only want to showcase an iconic Pennsylvania product at a unique Pennsylvania event, but we also want a lucky winner to experience the recreation, adventure and beauty of this amazing region with the Ultimate Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Getaway," Mrs. Corbett said.

While the Slinky® component is new this year, 2013 marks the third year Visit PA has partnered with Foursquare to encourage visitors to earn a badge featuring Phil's likeness. In 2011, the badge was unlocked by 27,846 users, more than any other partner badge at the time. In 2012, the badge was unlocked 26,903 times.

In a tradition dating to the 1800s, Groundhog Day is celebrated each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania Wilds. According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of wintry weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

A Webcast of the Groundhog Day festivities will be available at

Foursquare is a location-based, mobile platform that encourages users to "check in" via a smartphone app or SMS to share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence. For more information, go to or call (800) VISIT PA; become a fan at, follow us at, share photos at, friend us at, or watch us on

Media contact: Theresa Elliott, 717-783-1132

Editor's Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development