Groundhog Day & My Life in Woodstock, IL


Groundhog Day was filmed almost completely in Woodstock, Illinois, where I live. Here are a few fun movie facts as they merge with my life.

1. The Starbucks I frequent is right next to "The Pennsylvanian Hotel." In real life the hotel is the Opera House in which my kids have been in summer plays, I've seen Alejandro Escovedo play, I've heard Billy Collins read poetry, etc. 

2. I've taken photographs from the tower at the top of the hotel (Opera House) Bill Murray jumps from in one of his moments of despair.

3. When our church used to meet outside of our church building a few years ago, we met in a ballroom in the building along the alley where Bill Murray tries to revive the "old man." It's right across from the "Alpine Theater" which is really the Woodstock Theater.

4. "Gobbler's Knob," where the prognostication happens, is the place on the Woodstock Square where my boys and I usually play "hot box" or "pickle" between two trees.

5. The Bed & Breakfast Bill Murray stayed in is a real Bed & Breakfast in Woodstock. Or at least it has been. I think they had some issues in the last few years.

6. I've stood where Bill Murray stood as he stepped in the puddle. You can too. There's a plaque. There are actually many plaques around Woodstock at all the main sites.

7. The restaurant & bar where Bill & Andie McDowell drink to world peace is now closed, though it was open when we moved here. You could (and we did) actually eat in a jail cell, as it's part of the Old Courthouse in Woodstock. 

8. Molly & I have danced where Bill Murray and Andie McDowell danced. It's a Moose Lodge. Our dancing was way cooler.

9. The "Tip Top Cafe" has been many things since the movie. It's now a Mexican restaurant. A few years ago it was a family favorite place to go for gelato.

10. Woodstock has a yearly Groundhog Day event with our own groundhog, Woodstock Willie. He said winter is ending soon and announced it at 7:07am today.