PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa., Feb. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley was in attendance as thousands of fans watched as Phil made his highly anticipated weather prognostication, commemorating 127 years of Pennsylvania's unique Groundhog Day tradition.
Pennsylvania's world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted an early spring after emerging from his burrow without seeing his shadow this morning in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
According to holiday folklore, if the groundhog emerges in the early morning on Feb. 2 and does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring. If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of wintry weather are expected. The annual event that started with a small group of men known as the Inner Circle now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
With the promise of warmer weather, it is the perfect time to attend a festival or explore the beautiful outdoors. Here is a sampling of what Pennsylvania has in store for travelers this spring:
- Pennsylvania Garden Festival, Feb. 22-24, Harrisburg
Visitors to this year's Pennsylvania Garden Festival will be thinking spring as soon as they walk in the door. This annual event held at the PA Farm Show Complex has something for everyone from garden enthusiasts to green thumb beginners, and even celebrity guests. The festival features walk-through gardens, hands-on demonstrations and nearly 200 exhibitors. www.jmexpo.com/pagardenexpo
- Tour de Tanks of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, Weekends in March, York
Each Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of March, the award-winning wineries of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail offer exclusive tank and barrel tastings to preview the season's wines before they are bottled. A single ticket is good for all five weekends and offers wine lovers discounts on purchases during the events. www.uncorkyork.com
- Philadelphia Flower Show, March 2-10, Philadelphia
Boasting the world's largest indoor exhibition of its kind, the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show, "Brilliant!" will highlight the beauty and creative genius of Great Britain, paying tribute to centuries of inspiring, influential culture. The annual show is an international favorite and the major fundraiser for Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadelphia Green, one of the most comprehensive urban revitalization programs in the nation. www.theflowershow.com
- Phipps Conservatory Spring Flower Show, March 9- April 7, Pittsburgh
The Spring Flower Show at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is an annual feast for the senses featuring sweet scents and colorful sights. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, lilies, and other beloved seasonal blooms are the stars of Something's Always in Bloom, as well as unique exhibits and a butterfly garden. www.phipps.conservatory.org
- Opening Days of Trout and Salmon Fishing Season, March 30 and April 13, Statewide
With more than 83,000 miles of streams and rivers and a large variety of fish, Pennsylvania is every fisherman's dream. Fishing begins for 18 southeastern counties on March 30 and statewide on April 13. www.fishinpa.com
- Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Classic, April 6, Emporium
Welcome spring with a refreshing ride on the water during the 39th Annual Canoe and Kayak Classic in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Participants will paddle a 12-mile stretch of the Sinnemahoning Creek beginning in Emporium. In addition to the course suitable for more experienced paddlers, the Classic also includes a two-mile youth event, making this a perfect experience for visitors of all ages. www.canoeclassic.org
- Ashbury Woods Maple Festival, April 6-7, Erie
Join thousands at this fun, two-day Maple Festival at the scenic Ashbury Woods Nature Center. Visitors will enjoy learning about the making of maple syrup through hands-on tours, samplings and demonstrations, in addition to live music, arts and crafts and maple flavored foods. www.ashburywoods.org
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 visitPA.com or call (800) VISIT PA; become a fan at facebook.com/visitPA, follow us at twitter.com/visitPA, share photos at pinterest.com/visitPA, friend us at foursquare.com/visitPA, or watch us on youtube.com/visitPA.
Media contact: Steve Kratz, 717-783-1132
Editor's Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at www.twitter.com/patourismpr.