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Published on February 02, 2024
Groundhog Royalty Woodstock Willie Forecasts Early Spring Alongside Punxsutawney PhilSource: Facebook/Woodstock Willie

Today in Woodstock, Illinois, the legendary groundhog known as Woodstock Willie emerged from his burrow and, lacking a shadow, signaled an early spring is on its way. Last year, Willie alongside his fellow prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil had both predicted a lengthier chill, but this year they're unified in their forecast of warmer days ahead, as reported by NBC Chicago.

Adding buzz to the day, Woodstock, the filming location of the iconic movie "Groundhog Day," has its festivities in full swing, including walking tours, a film screening, and even a "Cocktails with Willie" event for those wishing to raise a glass to early spring — or perhaps to the end of the daily grind, for those feeling particularly Bill Murray-esque. Details for the array of activities were provided by ABC7 Chicago, finding fans ready to toast to the festivities.

Woodstock's namesake Willie wasn't the only groundhog in the spotlight — the slightly more famous Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania also refrained from seeing his shadow, according to local tradition, this promises that winter's grip will soon loosen. This quaint tradition is deeply rooted in European agriculture customs and was widely adopted in America by Pennsylvania Germans, as NBC Chicago explains it.

Not just about shadow-seeking rodents, Groundhog Day in Woodstock is tapping into some star power with a "Groundhog Day" cast reunion at Chicago's Navy Pier. Celebrating not just the holiday but also the life and work of movie director Harold Ramis, an event was detailed "When the alarm clock flips from 2:59 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 'I Got You Babe' plays, all will gather to commemorate Harold Ramis’ life and accomplished career in film," as stated by a release quoted by NBC Chicago. In alignment with the celestials, those lining up for the cast reunion might hope to grab a moment with timelessness just like the film's endearing loop.

For those who couldn't make it to the live event, the good news is that the festivities were streamed live, allowing fans from all over to partake in the celebrations virtually.