This February 2, 2021, at 7:07 AM CT, Woodstock Willie, the seer of seers, the prognosticator of prognosticators, emerged reluctantly—and a bit grouchily, I must say—to greet his faithful followers. Willie looked skyward to the east, and then behind to the ground, and stated clearly in groundhog-ese, “I definitely do not see my shadow – an early Spring awaits!”
Happy Groundhog Day!
It’s hard for us to pass up the chance to say that. Why? Because OWC’s headquarters is located in Woodstock, IL. Why does that matter? Because this small community in the far-far northwest suburbs of Chicago is where the beloved movie “Groundhog Day” was filmed.
And it’s kind of a big deal…
Though the population has grown to approximately 25,000 since the film’s release, in 1993, Woodstock was home to just over 14,000 people. Having Bill Murray, Andie McDowell, and Stephen Tobolowsky milling about for several weeks of shooting was, shall we say, quite exciting! And let’s all be honest, the movie was, is, and forever shall be, quite awesome.
Woodstock’s quaint town square hasn’t changed much since, and though numbers were down a bit for obvious pandemic reasons, at this time every year, hundreds of people gather from all over to see whether or not Woodstock Willie sees his shadow. This year, he did not. And this sign of an early spring is welcomed by a small town that has received over a foot of snow this year and is bracing for subzero temperatures to come later this week.
For more information on the history of the Woodstock, IL Groundhog Day Prognostication (which started in 1995), head on over to http://www.woodstockgroundhog.org