The Chicago suburb of Woodstock is where ‘Groundhog Day’ was filmed – NBC Chicago

It’s a beloved winter party with a plump groundhog and an iconic movie — but did you know it was filmed just outside of Chicago?

Across the country, rodents at early morning celebrations on February 2 will be lifted up on Groundhog Day – which is said to mark about six weeks until spring – but only one local groundhog will predict the weather from exactly the same place as 1992, Bill Murray was the weatherman in the cult classic “Groundhog Day.”

On Thursday, the city of Woodstock, located about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, will hoist Woodstock Willie during the city’s annual “Groundhog Days” event. The multi-day festival due to start on Wednesday celebrates the famous 1992 film shot in its city – with walking tours of cinema sites, a screening of the film, groundhog trivia, a pub crawl and, of course, the official forecast for Groundhog Day at 7 a.m. on February 2.

“If he sees his shadow, it means there will be another 6 weeks of winter,” reads a description of the event. “And if he doesn’t see his shadow, that means we’ll have an early spring.”

To wake Woodstock Willie from his “winter nap”, the event will of course include a Polka band playing in the bandstand in an iconic location as an illusion for the film.

“This is our re-enactment of the Groundhog Day ceremony that Bill Murray, as a meteorologist, has reported on over and over again. This scene from the movie was filmed right here in Woodstock Square.”

According to the NBC 5 Storm team – which does not include a marmot meteorologist – February 2 should be partly cloudy with high temperatures of around 30 degrees. And while Thursday’s weather will be slightly warmer than Tuesday’s freezing cold, “don’t forget your slippers because it’s coooooold out there!”

What happens if the marmot sees its shadow?

Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, is both a milestone — marking six weeks before spring — and a story of folklore, which may date back to the fifth century, according to an article from the National Weather Service.

At that time, according to the NWS, “European Celts believed that animals had certain supernatural powers on special days halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.”

“German and French folklore have indicated that when marmots and bears emerged from their winter dens too early, they were frightened by their shadow and retreated indoors for four to six weeks,” the post continued. “This was adopted by the Romans as Hedgehog Day. When Christianity arose, the once pagan observance was also called Candlemas.”

According to the NWS, the earliest known American reference to Groundhog Day was in the diary of a merchant in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, dated February 4, 1841.

“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas Day, the day the Germans say the marmot comes out of its winter quarters and if it sees its shadow it comes back for another six-week nap,” indicates the entrance. “But if the day is cloudy, he stays outside, because the weather must be moderate.”

The rest, as they say, is history – both weather and on the big screen.

NBC Chicago

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button