Punxsutawney Phil isn’t the only groundhog prognosticating spring’s arrival. Illinois groundhogs are doing the same thing. Is spring weather around the corner, or must we endure six more weeks of winter? Groundhog Day falls on a Saturday this year, making it more convenient for many to watch the groundhog prognostications in person.
Since the 1993 filming in Woodstock, Illinois, of the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, the town has adopted the holiday as reason to celebrate. Join in the main event at 7 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, as Woodstock’s own Woodstock Willie emerges from his tree trunk home on the town square to the music of a live polka band. On either Saturday or Sunday see the movie Groundhog Day at Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theater (limited seating on a first come, first served basis) or take a walking tour of the movie filming sites. Events are free.
Wildlife Prairie State Park
Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria will open at 6 a.m. on Groundhog Day, and resident groundhog Gertie will be woken up at 7 a.m. as Barry Cloyd sings “Wake Up, Gertie.” Warm up with breakfast before or after Gertie is awakened, and stay to hike trails. Park admission is free; the pancake breakfast is $5 for adults and $4 for children.
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