Groundhog Day events should go off better this year than last in Woodstock. Woodstock has observed Groundhog Day ever since the movie by that name was filmed in the town 20 years ago. But last year, with snow up to her hips on Feb. 2, Pam Moorhouse of the Woodstock Groundhog Days Committee was forced to cancel the main event.
“We had to cancel the prognostication,” she said. “I waited until the very last moment, and then I got a call from the city manager and he said ‘You are going to cancel Groundhog Day, aren’t you?’ and I said yeah, I guess, if I have to. And it’s a good thing I did. It was terrible.” The Woodstock groundhog, Woodstock Willie, is actually brought in from Chicago and was unable to make it last year. Ancillary Groundhog Day events were held successfully last year on the following weekend. This year, the forecast is for a temperature in the 40s at sunrise, and Moorhouse expects hundreds of people on the town square on Thursday morning. Woodstock is observing the 20th anniversary this year of the filming of Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, and directed by Harold Ramis. New this year is a display of artifacts from the filming, many of which were held by a collector who recently died. They are on display at the Woodstock Library.
Another 20-year celebration will take place next year: The 20th anniversary of the picture’s release.