Everyone celebrates Groundhog Day as its a special holiday in which people anticipate the prophecy of an early Spring. However, one town celebrates it for a different reason, to recreate the iconic movie starring Bill Murray. Why? Because the movie was made there.
If you’ve ever been to Woodstock, you may get a sense of familiarity, and there’s a reason for that. The town of Woodstock was the setting for the comedy classic……Groundhog Day. For the past 2 decades, Woodstock has recreated the movie set on the iconic holiday, to bring back this special memory.
Danielle Gulli, Executive Director for the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “It was a stand-in for the Pennsylvania location of Puxatony Phil and Puxatony, Pennsylvania. They chose it, I think, largely because Bill Murray and the producer lived in Chicago and wanted to find somewhere close-by, and this was just the perfect fit for them.”
Gulli says that publicity soared after the film was made, and that people have traveled from all over the world to come see the famous film setting.
Gulli adds, “200 to 500 people have come for the event, but over the course of the weekend over 1000 because we’ve got activities Thursday through Sunday.”
Activites include a Chili Cookoff, Ground Hog Day dance, seeing Woodstock Willie’s weather prophecy, and taking a tour of the filming sites. Tourists can see where Bill Murray stayed, had breakfast, and where he drank to world peace. And of course……. where he reported on the groundhog.
Robert Knuth owned a retail store during filming–where Bill Murray was a frequent customer.
Knuth said, “I had a radio that was listening to their channel that they would have the chatter on. And they would say, ‘Okay Bill Murray come on out.”
Knuth’s daughters also got to meet the comedy star, giving him girl scout cookies. Knuth said this was an experience that he’ll never forget.
Knuth adds, “It was fun.”
The first event, the awakening of the groundhog, starts this evening at 7pm in the Woodstock Opera House. And the Groundhog will reveal his weather prediction Friday morning at 7am in Woodstock Square.