Groundhog Day Celebration

January 17, 2014 in Events by brian

Join us for Shipoke’s First Annual Groundhog Day Celebration!

Groundhog Day isn’t just for Punxsutawney anymore! Be part of the festivities and witness the prediction about the coming of Spring right here in Harrisburg. Join Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, other special guests, and your friends, family, and neighbors for the Shipoke Neighborhood Association’s First Annual Groundhog Day Celebration.

WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:00 AM

WHERE: Race Street Park (corner of Race and Conoy Streets), Harrisburg

WHAT: Groundhog Day Ceremony, Coffee and Doughnuts, Special Kids Activities, Music, and More

Bring your family and friends, and join us for this unique and fun event. Let’s show Punxsutawney that they’ve got nothin’ on Harrisburg!


Meet Shipoke Sheena 

Sheena the groundhog was born and raised in Punxsutawney, PA. Every year she looked forward to Groundhog Day. She loved the excitement, the glitz and glitter, and the crowds; and she admired Punxsutawney Phil’s skills as a weather forecaster. She was in awe of his celebrity status and the positive attention he brought to their town.SAMSUNG

One year after the Groundhog Day ceremony, Sheena visited Phil in his spacious hole. After gushing a bit (after all, he was a star), she asked him for advice on how she could become a weather forecaster herself. Normally, Phil was very private. However, Sheena’s hero worship of him and the pleading in her big brown eyes got to Phil, and he invited her in.

Phil taught Sheena how and where to stand to make the most of the light and get the best results—shadow or no shadow. He also told her how to pose for the cameras and work with the humans. No matter how annoying they get, he said, never bite them!

Sheena hung on every word and asked dozens of questions. Afterwards, she constantly practiced standing and checking for her shadow. She pretended that she was posing for pictures and imagined herself as the star of the movie, “Groundhog Day.”

One day she decided that it was time for her to find a town where she could be the weather forecaster. So she packed a bag, said goodbye to her friends and family, and headed across her beloved state. She went to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh—no, too big and too noisy. Gettysburg was nice, but they frowned on digging holes in the historic lands. Finally, she made it to Harrisburg. It was just the right size—not too big, not too small. It was the state capitol, and she’d always liked politics.

She headed towards the Susquehanna River and found the neighborhood of Shipoke. She knew immediately she’d found her new home. It was a quiet, beautiful place with lovely, well-kept houses. The people were friendly and sociable. They took pride in their little community and spent time keeping the parks and streets clean and pretty. There were lots of dogs and cats in the neighborhood, but they were friendly and easy going. So were the groundhogs, skunks, opossums, and other animals that lived in the neighborhood and nearby areas.

Most important, however, Sheena had never seen people—outside of Punxsutawney—who were so interested in the weather. They talked a lot about when and how much it would rain. The watched the sky for snow; and when the white stuff came, they helped each other clear it off their sidewalks. They shared tips with each other about how to keep bad weather from affecting their homes and their lives. This was a happy, healthy place. This was her new home.

Before long, “Shipoke Sheena” was a welcome and familiar face in the riverfront neighborhood. When the Shipoke Neighborhood Association decided to honor her with her own Groundhog Day—one day before Phil’s event—it exceeded all of Sheena’s hopes and dreams. She had never been happier or prouder. She vowed to make her neighborhood’s Groundhog Day the best in the state!