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Punxsutawney Phil and Woodstock Willie to predict spring on Groundhog Day

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Counting the days to official Spring? It’s March 20, 2014. But maybe, hopefully, it will come earlier. Maybe, the groundhogs will know.

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Fed up with the awful winter that descended upon most of the US from the north? What's to blame? Some meteorologists say the warm west coast waters that have raised Alaska’s temperatures have pushed the arctic blasts south across the States.

But when asking for a serious prognostication of when relief will come, it’s time to bring in Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil or Illinois’ Woodstock Willie.

Along with Superbowl Sunday, Feb. 2 is, as a radio announcer and also TV weatherman Phil Conners (Bill Murray) say in the famed movie, “It’s Groundhog Day.”

If Punxsutawney Phil or Woodstock Willie sees its shadow then the animal supposedly ducks back in its home for six more weeks of winter in that area. If no shadow, there is supposed to be an early spring.

Watch for reports from Pennsylvania when Punxsutawney Phil pokes out of his burrow in Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, PA., at 7:20 a.m. ET. And check what Woodstock Willie predicts about 7 a.m. CT. Just, hope for a cloudy day.

In northwest Illinois, Woodstock has been celebrating Groundhog Day since the movie came out in 1993. Directed by Harold Ramis, written by Danny Rubin and Ramis and starring Bill Murray and Andie Mac Dowell the movie was filmed there in 1992.

To see a free screening, take a free walking tour of the movie’s sites and browse the town’s Norman Rockwell-like square, drive over to Woodstock, about an hour northwest of downtown Chicago, Feb. 1 or 2.

Screenwriter Danny Rubin will be in town for the weekend and talk to movie audiences before the 10 a.m. Saturday screening.

For more Groundhog Day information call 815-334-2620 and visit Woodstock Groundhog Days and Groundhog.