Pa. governor to attend Groundhog Day ceremonies

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Break out the red carpet for the Groundhog Day trek to Gobbler's Knob for two important figures: Punxsutawney Phil and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.The Groundhog Club's Inner Circle confirmed last week that Corbett and his wife, Susan, will indeed attend Groundhog Day 2012, serving as the guest speaker at the annual Groundhog Banquet Feb. 1 and making the trek with the Inner Circle the morning of Feb. 2.The banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the cafeteria of Punxustawney Area High School. Tickets will be available only from Linda Shaffer, administrative assistant, at the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce, 102 West Mahoning St.“We invited him, and he accepted,” Inner Circle Vice-President Mike Johnston said.“Sam Smith has been our liaison.”Smith, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, said he asked Corbett about murmurings he had heard about wanting to attend Groundhog Day.“‘The rumor in Punxsy is that you want to come,’ I said,” Smith said. “He said, ‘I would be willing to do that.’”And thus, the invitation and the acceptance are cemented, and Corbett is set to become the second-seated Pennsylvania governor to attend Groundhog Day. Corbett's predecessor, Ed Rendell, attended in 2003.Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.