Mind Your Business: Are you ready for Groundhog Day, Pizza Day, and the Farm Show? | Blogs

Wednesday marks what might be our country’s weirdest holiday. On Groundhog Day, when groundhog Old Punxsutawney Phil is dragged from his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania, where he will see either his shadow (which legend has it means six more weeks of winter), or no (which is supposed to mean an early spring). The tradition began with the Christian Candlemas, when, according to the story, the clergy blessed and distributed the candles needed for the winter. The candles represented the length and cold of winter. Later, German culture took its tradition of hedgehog weather forecasting and translated it into what we now call Groundhog Day. The vacation began in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in 1886.

Now, if you’d rather not hear from a poor groundhog pulled from its lovely warm burrow on a cold February morning in Pennsylvania, that’s understandable. I may not be able to tell you if we will have another six weeks of winter or an early spring (my senses tell me whichever comes first), but I can give you a glimpse of some business information that you might find useful:

• Tennessee saw an increase in labor force participation in December. According to data recently released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, unemployment rose in 87 counties during the month. Five counties saw rates decline, while numbers remained the same in three counties.

• According to AAA: For the fourth consecutive week, the average price of gas in Tennessee has increased. Since last Monday, gasoline prices in Tennessee have risen an average of six cents. Tennessee’s average gas price is now $3.10, 11 cents higher than a month ago and 87 cents higher than a year ago. “Tensions along the Ukrainian border have helped push crude oil prices up almost daily,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director at AAA. “If oil prices continue to climb towards $90 a barrel, prices at the pump will likely follow.” According to AAA, 28% of gas stations in Tennessee have prices below $3. The average for the Tri-Cities is currently $3.03.

Notes from the field

You could fill your calendar with all sorts of random holidays these days. You have National Zipper Day on April 29, National Name Your Car Day on October 2, International Sword Swallower Day on February 28, and sadly, we’ve already missed National Zipper Costume Day. gorilla this year, held on Monday. . Sigh. But, according to the US Census Bureau, February 9 is National Pizza and Bagel Day. So, in honor of February 9, I want to hear (or read) which restaurant has your favorite pizza in Kingsport or the Tri-Cities. It doesn’t matter if it’s dine-in, take-out or delivery. We all have our favorites and I (along with other MYB readers) want to know your favorites! You can email your submissions to me at [email protected] or you can post your response on our Facebook post asking people to tell us their favorite pizzeria in Kingsport and beyond.

In independent news, the Farm Expo will be held Saturday and Sunday at the South Building of Bristol Motor Speedway. Admission is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are admitted free. This year’s event is said to be bigger and better with a petting zoo, chili kitchen, country market, hog calling contest, live music, chainsaw artist and more again. But if you’re like me, you remember Farm Expo long before 2022.

As a kid, my family and I would go to Farm Expo and even once with our goats in tow. (They were part of the petting zoo. We’re not crazy enough to take them to various big events just for fun.) I remember my parents buying me and my sister a rabbit each. The memory is much sweeter than the bunny turned out to be.

But these days, Farm Expo has changed a bit. It now stands on the circuit with various vendors and is also designed to feature hard-working farmers who might even offer a little gardening and farming know-how. For more information on Farm Expo, visit https://www.farmexpotn.com/. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.

Do you have a note to send me? Email it to [email protected] and you may see it in a future Minding Your Business feature.

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