Just for kids

Yak's Corner

January 31, 2000

Get ready for Phil's Big Day; GROUNDHOG DAY

The Yak loves Groundhog Day. For most kids and parents, it's school and business as usual on Feb. 2. But there's at least one place in the United States where Groundhog Day is such a big holiday that kids get the day off. That's in Punxsutawney, Pa. The city's groundhog, Phil, has become so famous that the town gets hundreds of tourists.

The American celebration started with German settlers who watched animals for signs of spring. In Punxsutawney, it goes back to the late 1800s.

On Groundhog Day, tourists and townspeople start as early as 3 a.m. to make the trip to Gobbler's Knob, where Phil lives.

On his day, Phil gets an extra-special treat: a groundhog sundae. It's made of groundhog-shaped ginger cookies with vanilla ice cream to symbolize snow. If Phil sees his shadow -- predicting 40 more days of winter, he'll have chocolate sauce on the ice cream.

Tradition says that if he does not see his shadow when he comes out of his burrow, spring is near.

For more information, go to www.groundhog.org, Phil's official Web site.

-- Yak's Corner staff

SPECIAL TREAT

Celebrate Groundhog Day with a treat -- whether the critter (also known as a woodchuck) sees his shadow or not.

What you need:

1 Bundt cake (make or buy one)

1 can chocolate frosting

5 Oreo cookies

1 Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll (or similar mini-cake in your store)

1 chocolate doughnut hole

1 tube mini M&Ms

2 almonds

2 cashews

How to make:

1. Put your Bundt cake on a plate and cover completely with frosting.

2. Crumble Oreo cookies and sprinkle on the cake around the hole.

3. Place cake roll "standing up" in hole.

4. With frosting, attach doughnut hole to top of cake roll. This forms the head.

5. Stick almonds, pointy side down, into head for ears. Stick on M&Ms with frosting for eyes and nose.

6. Stick cashews in front to look like arms.

-- Yak's Corner staff

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