Ep. 60 – The guys behind Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil’s Inner Circle

The Phil festivities are virtual this year. Enjoy this episode from our archives

by Stephanie Brea
January 26, 2021

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Since 1886, Punxsutawney Phil has been making weather predictions with the help of his Inner Circle (those dudes with the top hats). Last year, we traveled to Punxsutawney and interviewed A.J. Dereume and Dave Gigliotti who have very different, but important roles in the annual event. Listen to learn about the history of Groundhog Day, how they became members of the Inner Circle and how Phil has managed to keep predicting the weather for over 135 years. This year, the Feb. 2 festivities are virtual. Check the Groundhog Club’s website for the event link and other information.


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What’s one thing you should know this week?

We highlight the NearBuy program from Quantum Theatre, which launched in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pittsburgh. NearBuy is Quantum Theatre’s way of highlighting businesses in neighborhoods hosting upcoming performances. They have partnerships with a rotating list of various restaurants, with the latest addition being the East End Food Co-Op in Point Breeze. Thanks to a grant, when you buy a meal from one of their NearBuy partners, the funds are matched with a gift card or meal being distributed to local families experiencing food insecurity. For more information, check out the NearBuy section of their website.


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Plus, we share a pro-tip about the opening of Sklep in Polish Hill. This neighborhood market offers all the groceries and takeout you know from S & D Polish Deli. Get your pierogies without the hassle of fighting for parking in the Strip District.


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This interview was conducted by Stephanie Brea in 2020, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios. Musical intro “Talkin’ to a Groundhog” by the Beagle Brothers.

Subscribe to The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh podcast

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Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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