Woodstock Illinois the real home of the movie “Groundhog Day”

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Please Note: This post contains an unusual number of references to the film “Ground Hog Day” If you don’t get them or haven’t seen the movie. It’s cool you are still welcome.  But if you do ever get a chance to watch it, please consider doing so. You may end up loving it as much as I do. 

The film is about a selfish weatherman forced to cover groundhog day in Punxatawney, Pennslyvania. he hates the city and hates groundhog day.  A freak snowstorm forces him to stay overnight. When he awakens the next day he is stuck in a loop forcing to relive groundhog day over and over again. Eventually,  Phil learns to adapt to his fate and learns to care for others and fall in love. 

Contrary to what many think the hit 1993 Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog Day” was not filmed in Punxatawney, Pennslyvania but actually in Woodstock, Illinois a small town northwest of Chicago. Murray had recommended the town personally because he liked the small town feel of the place. Every day he would arrive at the set via helicopter from his home in Chicago. Locals who were extra on the set said Murray was friendly but a bit aloof. (He was going through a divorce at the time and that may have affected his mood somewhat. I have a friend who had a small speaking role in “Scrooged” (another Murray film) and she said Murray was very affable and well-liked by the cast and crew. 

The movie filmed during the winter of 1992, and was a real boon to the local economy. The town has since had a small and steady stream of tourists since the film was released especially around groundhog day. The city know goes “the whole hog” (pun intended) for the holiday and the local theater even shows the film on a loop on February 2nd.

At the time of the film, this house which was featured as the Cherry Street Inn the B&B Phil Connors stayed at, was a private residence. The home has now been turned into an actual B&B. Hopefully, they have hot water every day. No word if the kitchen serves ‘Deja Vu’  though.
The “Tip-Top Cafe’ has now gone Mexican.
Phil? Phil Connors. It’s me, Ned, Ryerson!!
“Watch out for the first step it’s a doozy”
The city has a very nice walking tour of all the movie locations

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