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posted: 2/2/2014 1:45 PM

Six more weeks of winter, grumpy groundhog says

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  • Woodstock Willie, being held up for the crowd on the Woodstock Square by animal wrangler Mark Szafran, gave a disappointing forecast Sunday morning. Willie saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.

       Woodstock Willie, being held up for the crowd on the Woodstock Square by animal wrangler Mark Szafran, gave a disappointing forecast Sunday morning. Willie saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Woodstock Willie, being held up for the crowd on the Woodstock Square by animal wrangler Mark Szafran, gave a disappointing forecast Sunday morning. Willie saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.

       Woodstock Willie, being held up for the crowd on the Woodstock Square by animal wrangler Mark Szafran, gave a disappointing forecast Sunday morning. Willie saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Willie says more winter coming

 
Daily Herald report

Woodstock Willie was in a grumpy mood early Sunday morning, screeching, squirming and generally resisting efforts to be pulled from his hole to make his famous annual forecast.

His reluctance to appear, as it turns out, was with good reason. Willie, the Groundhog Day mascot for the McHenry County community, saw his shadow when he came out, meaning six more weeks of winter and putting many of us in the same grumpy mood.

"I was hoping for an early spring, but it looks like that's not going to happen now," said Pam Moorhouse, the co-chairman of Woodstock's Groundhog Days festival.

The event, which drew a festive crowd of hundreds to the Woodstock Square on a chilly Sunday morning, commemorates how the town -- and most notably the town square -- served as the location for the 1993 Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day." Danny Rubin, one of the film's writers, was on hand for Sunday's prediction, telling the crowd that he marvels at how the movie still resonates 20 years after its release.

Willie's prediction Sunday wrapped up a whole week of events in Woodstock that included a dinner dance, a showing of the movie and a walking tour of shooting locations used during the filming.

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