Prior to the 2024 Groundhog Day festivities, the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center held its annual Little Mr. and Miss Groundhog crowning ceremony on Jan. 27.
Meritt Weaver, a 5-year-old student at Punxsutawney Area Elementary School, was named the 2024 Little Mr. Groundhog. He is the son of Reggie and Amy Weaver.
Cecelia Behdrendt, a 6-year-old student at SSCD Elementary School, was honored as the 2024 Little Miss Groundhog. She is the daughter of Allan and Amanda Behrendt.
During the ceremony, members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, including president Shingle Shaker Tom Dunkel, Downpour Rob McCoy, and Punxsutawney Phil’s handler, A.J. Dereume, were in attendance, as noted by PWDC Executive Director Lisa Waksmunski.
Waksmunski expressed gratitude to the families and friends of the contestants for their support towards the center’s educational initiatives. Proceeds from the contest will aid the center in organizing educational programs and community events.
The voting for the contest was hosted by Katie Laska at her Punxsutawney restaurant, Laska’s Pizza, for which the center extends its appreciation.
Additionally, Waksmunski thanked Beatty Jewelers for donating the tiara for Miss Groundhog Behdrendt, Standard Pennant for providing T-shirts, Roseman’s Florist for the floral arrangements, and the Inner Circle members of the PGC and Punxsutawney Phil for their contributions.
She also announced that the Little Mr. & Miss Groundhog will participate in various local parades later in the year.