Fittest loser
Article posted: 2/2/2013 2:33 PM

Woodstock, Punxsutawney groundhogs agree on an early spring for us

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Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager listens to what Woodstock Willie has to say as his handler Mark Szaran of Chicago holds him to the microphone on Groundhog Day in Woodstock Square Saturday. Willie did not see his shadow, meaning we're in for an early spring.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Kyle Sweeney of Chicago celebrates Groundhog Day in Woodstock Square on Saturday. "I'm the biggest Groundhog Day fan in the world," says Sweeney. He and seven friends from Chicago and Wisconsin rented an RV to come for the day.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Sue Carolan of Wonder Lake shows off her Groundhog Day sign before Woodstock Willie makes his appearance and prediction on Saturday. Carolan watched the filming of the movie "Groundhog Day" 20 years ago in Woodstock. "I come every year … It's fun, it's really fun."

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Crowds start to gather before 6:30 a.m. at the Woodstock Square gazebo on Groundhog Day. The city is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the filming of the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Ali Barlas of Woodstock gets her photo taken with Woodstock Willie during the Groundhog Day festivities in Woodstock Square on Saturday.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager reads the Groundhog Day proclamation in Woodstock Square on Saturday. Woodstock Willie did not see his shadow, so an early spring is predicted, despite the snowfall overnight.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

The crowd photographs and videotapes Woodstock Willie's appearance at the annual Groundhog Day event Saturday in Woodstock Square.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Mike Delaney of Elmhurst, with the German trio music group The Alpiners, gives a quick showing of his lederhosen before bundling up again against the cold at Woodstock's Groundhog Day celebration Saturday. They've performed at the event for eight years.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

About this Article

Punxsutawney Phil and Woodstock Willie, the two national prognosticators of what lies ahead for us, were in complete agreement Saturday ... we're in for an early spring this year. Woodstock also is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray, which was filmed there.
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    • Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager listens to what Woodstock Willie has to say as his handler Mark Szaran of Chicago holds him to the microphone on Groundhog Day in Woodstock Square Saturday. Willie did not see his shadow, meaning we’re in for an early spring.
    • Kyle Sweeney of Chicago celebrates Groundhog Day in Woodstock Square on Saturday. “I’m the biggest Groundhog Day fan in the world,” says Sweeney. He and seven friends from Chicago and Wisconsin rented an RV to come for the day.
    • Sue Carolan of Wonder Lake shows off her Groundhog Day sign before Woodstock Willie makes his appearance and prediction on Saturday. Carolan watched the filming of the movie “Groundhog Day” 20 years ago in Woodstock. “I come every year … It’s fun, it’s really fun.”
    • Crowds start to gather before 6:30 a.m. at the Woodstock Square gazebo on Groundhog Day. The city is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the filming of the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray.
    • Ali Barlas of Woodstock gets her photo taken with Woodstock Willie during the Groundhog Day festivities in Woodstock Square on Saturday.
    • Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager reads the Groundhog Day proclamation in Woodstock Square on Saturday. Woodstock Willie did not see his shadow, so an early spring is predicted, despite the snowfall overnight.
    • The crowd photographs and videotapes Woodstock Willie’s appearance at the annual Groundhog Day event Saturday in Woodstock Square.
    • Mike Delaney of Elmhurst, with the German trio music group The Alpiners, gives a quick showing of his lederhosen before bundling up again against the cold at Woodstock’s Groundhog Day celebration Saturday. They’ve performed at the event for eight years.
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