Groundhog Day predictions for 2017

While much of the bluegrass world is fixated on the SPBGMA convention which starts tomorrow, and the rest of the country on this weekend’s Super Bowl, there’s an even more urgent concern that needs to be addressed beforehand.

To wit… will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow in the morning and return to his burrow, dooming us to another six weeks of dreary winter conditions, or will he bask in the warm sunshine, bringing forth an early spring for all to enjoy. The legend of Phil has been celebrated on February 2 for 30 years, with the bulk of his predictions leaning towards more ice and snow. But 2017 is a new year, and who knows?

Here in the bluegrass world, we have our share of sages and prognosticators, and we asked a few of them to offer a prediction of their own on this matter of grave import.

Tim Stafford of Blue Highway took the stern view…

“I say 6 more months of winter. He’ll stick his head out, get on Facebook, and be so repulsed he’ll retreat and may not come out the rest of the year.”

…while Dale Ann Bradley gave us her regional forecast.

“Well, being from Southeastern KY, he wouldn’t see his shadow ’til Spring! But, based on his usual pattern, we’ll get ours down here in Coal Country around the last of February and maybe all of March.”

WAMU’s Katy Daley says that, regardless of Phil’s prediction, people in her area will freak out over any winter weather that comes.

“No matter what Punxsutawney Phil says, every flake will be characterized as a snowmageddon here in DC, and there won’t be enough toilet paper and milk on the east coast to supply the Capitol area.”

And The Boxcars’ Adam Steffey takes a dim view of the whole proceeding.

“I’ve learned never to put my trust in a groundhog whose first name I cannot spell. I think he’s really just mocking us.”

C’mon Adam… it’s P…h…i…l.

Jr. Williams with NewTown shared some advice from years ago.

“My grandpa Roy Williams always said of Groundhog Day… ‘If that thing sees his shadow and predicts 6 more weeks of winter…. Shoot him – we’ll need the meat!'”

Blake Williams, former Blue Grass Boy, and husband of top bluegrass publicist, Kimberly Williams, gives scant credibility to the whistlepig’s penumbra.

“As a humorist and purveyor of tall tales, it was only fitting that I asked Kimberly to marry me on Groundhog’s Day in 1996 – one of my best decisions! As far as predictions, I agree with Tom T. Hall: ‘The weather is doing exactly what the good Lord wants it to!’”

Summer McMahan of Mountain Faith thinks this week’s warm weather will fool Phil for sure.

“I think he’s going to come out and stay out because he thinks he overslept and its spring already!!

Doyle Lawson takes a late-riser’s approach.

“If he crawls out’a that bed before the crack of noon he could likely see it.” ?

Ashby Frank, free lance mandolinist for hire and one half of The Darrell Brothers, came up with this take.

“As crazy as the weather has been this winter, I wouldn’t be surprised at anything he sees, or if we have 6 more weeks of SPBGMA.”

Which Joe Mullins takes to the next level.

“I say he will NOT see his shadow. He won’t have time – word is the Darrell Brothers are watching his hole right now with their rifle cocked and a skillet of hot grease all ready!”

What do you think?

We’ll know soon enough. Let’s go Phil!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.