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Groundhog Day festivities run several days

WOODSTOCK – In “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s character is stuck in a cycle repeating the same day over and over again.

The movie, made in Woodstock, was released 20 years ago. Ever since, Woodstock has been stuck in a cycle reliving the holiday in which a furry rodent predicts the weather.

Over the years, Woodstock’s Groundhog Day festivities have evolved into almost a week of events, running this year from Jan. 27 through Feb. 3.

Festivities start with a pancake breakfast by the Woodstock Lions Club from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 27 at the Woodstock Moose Lodge.

On Jan. 31, Woodstock Willie makes his appearance in front of the Opera House on the Square for the Awakening of the Groundhog at 6 p.m. There will be a Groundhog Day trivia contest in the Stage Left Café. This is one of the weekend’s free events.

On Feb. 1, the Woodstock Moose will be the place for the annual Groundhog Day Dinner/Dance. There will be an Italian buffet followed by live entertainment with the band Rumor Has It. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. Proceeds will go to Moose Charities and Pioneer Center.

The main event – the Prognostication – will be at 7 a.m. Feb. 2 on the Square. The event is free. At 7:30 a.m., the Groundhog Day Breakfast will take place just off the Square at the Woodstock VFW on Throop Street. Tickets, which must be bought in advance, are $15.

A showing of the movie “Groundhog Day” will be at 10 a.m. at the Woodstock Cinema on Main Street. Nationally known storyteller Jim May will tell his groundhog tales at 10 a.m. in the community room of the Home State Bank on the Square.

A Chili Cook-off will be open to the public for tasting and voting. Doors open at noon at the Opera House.

At 1:30 p.m., a guided walking tour of some of the memorable film sites around town will take place.

There will be a symposium at 3:30 p.m. in the Stage Left Café to discuss the movie. The movie, storytelling, walking tour and symposium are free.

On Feb. 3, there will be another free showing of “Groundhog Day” at the Woodstock Cinema at 10 a.m. followed at noon by another guided tour with stories of the places around town used in the movie starting in front of the Opera House.

For information, visit www.woodstockgroundhog.org or call 815-334-2620.

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