PUNXSUTAWNEY – In anticipation of the 2024 Groundhog Day festivities, the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center officially named this year’s Little Mr. and Miss Groundhog on January 27.

Meritt Weaver, a 5-year-old student at Punxsutawney Area Elementary School, earned the title of 2024 Little Mr. Groundhog. His parents are Reggie and Amy Weaver.

Cecelia Behdrendt, a 6-year-old student at SSCD Elementary School, was crowned the 2024 Little Miss Groundhog. Her parents are Allan and Amanda Behrendt.

Lisa Waksmunski, the Executive Director of PWDC, mentioned that representatives from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, including President Shingle Shaker Tom Dunkel, Downpour Rob McCoy, and Punxsutawney Phil’s handler, A.J. Dereume, attended the ceremony.

Waksmunski expressed gratitude on behalf of PWDC, stating, “We extend our thanks to the families and friends of our contestants for their votes and contributions to our educational mission.”

The proceeds generated from the contest will contribute to supporting the centre’s educational programs and community events. It was highlighted that the centre expresses gratitude to Katie Laska for hosting the voting at her Punxsutawney restaurant, Laska’s Pizza.

Waksmunski also extended thanks to Beatty Jewelers for providing the tiara for Miss Groundhog Behdrendt, Standard Pennant for donating T-shirts, Roseman’s Florist for the flowers, and the Inner Circle members of the PGC and Punxsutawney Phil for their participation.

She mentioned, “Little Mr. & Miss Groundhog will make appearances in several local parades later this year.”

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