KDKA’s Larry Richert is the guest speaker at Groundhog Banquet | Local

PUNXSUTAWNEY – The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosted Larry Richert of Pittsburgh-based news station KDKA at the Groundhog Banquet as this year’s guest speaker.

“You may have heard his voice announcing from the sidelines, you may have heard him on the Steelers as well. He’s a good friend and he’s been on many, many rides with us. It’s a pleasure” , said Jeff “Fair Weatherman” Lundy, president of the Groundhog Club, by way of introduction earlier this week.

Richert shared his experience from when he was first sent to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day coverage, and how he thinks that experience changed his life.

“Basically, I have two halves of my life; before Phil and Phil since. I just hit the 60 mark, and everything good in my life has happened since I met Phil,” Richert said.

He remembers that 30 years ago he worked as a meteorologist for the CBS affiliate station in Pittsburgh. After the release of the film “Groundhog Day” featuring Bill Murray reporting the weather, the station decided to send Richert to Punxsutawney that year.

“So for the next 10 years they sent me to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day,” Richert said.

The first year he came it was 13 degrees below zero and he stayed at the Hotel Pantall. He joked that for his big network television debut that year, he wore big, fluffy earmuffs he got from another Gobbler’s Knob woman who was there from the marketing team. of the movie.

He was sent to the groundhog dinner the first year and realized once there that he was on the program as the keynote speaker.

Since that first experience, he has returned several times for Groundhog Day and has stayed at many different accommodations around the area. Several years ago he stayed at Lundy’s with him and his wife.

He joked that this year they changed plans because former manager and president Bill Deeley offered Richert to stay at one of his old homes. Richert then said that Deeley was also a former funeral director and was staying at one of his old funeral homes that he sold and is “a little worried about that.”

“It’s basically a good slice of Americana and I try to tell people how fun it is and how great it is to hang out 24 hours and have fun,” Richert said. . “I can’t explain how many things coincided with my friendship with Phil and the Inner Circle…I gotta go to the White House, I gotta fly with the Blue Angels, and everyone wanted to know more about Phil .”

Richert said there is no greater day than Groundhog Day.

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