One week from tomorrow is Groundhog Day, and we’re definitely going to check out the Groundhog Days Festival in Woodstock IL. The movie Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock in 1993, and the town has become a popular destination for fans of the cult classic. Every year on the days leading up to February 2nd, the city celebrates its movie history with many fun activities in the historic downtown.
We were in Woodstock a couple of weeks ago and stopped by the Chamber of Commerce, which is located on the historic square. We talked to a man working there, who told us about the festival. Apparently, actors from the movie have been returning to Woodstock over the years. Bill Murray, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky and Bill’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray have all returned to their old movie set.
In 2004 Stephen Tobolowsky (who played Ned Ryerson) was their special guest. Groundhog Day fell on a Monday (like this year) and the chamber of commerce had planned a schedule of events for the actor throughout the weekend. However, there were no events planned for Superbowl Sunday, as they figured everyone would stay home and watch the game, so Stephen didn’t have anything to do that afternoon. Someone from the chamber of commerce ended up inviting Stephen to his home to watch the game. 😀
New at this year’s Groundhog Days is a bachelor auction at Moose Lodge, just like in the movie! Remember when Rita (Andie MacDowell) bought Phil Connors (Bill Murray) at the bachelor auction fundraiser? And guess who is going to be the host at the bachelor auction this year? None other than a local man who was the stand-in for Chris Elliot when filming the movie! 😉
Here are some pictures of Woodstock Square from the cold day earlier this month when we were there: