20th Anniversary Woodstock Illinois

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Red-brown text and an illustration of a beaver wearing sunglasses holding a cake on an off-white background

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Woodstock, Il is most well known for being the location of the film Groundhog Day (1993). Since the release of the film, Woodstock continues to celebrate Groundhog Day as a 4-day event annually. This commemorates both the 20th anniversary of the filming in 1992 and the subsequent release of Groundhog Day in 1993. The film’s location manager, Bob Hudgins, brought Harold Ramis (the film’s director) to Woodstock, and as they drove up Main St., Ramis saw the Opera House and knew that this was the place he wanted to film the movie. The year of the 20th anniversary of the film, Groundhog Day fell on a Saturday with warm weather, and the event had record attendance.

The town of Woodstock was first founded in 1844 under the name Centerville (chosen because the city happened to be located right in the center of McHenry County). The name was changed to Woodstock a year later, to honor the hometown of settlers from Vermont. The downtown area of Woodstock attained landmark status in 1982 and is known as the Woodstock Square Historic District. A focal point of the downtown area is the Opera House, originally built as the City Hall, Library, Auditorium, and Fire Department.


Woodstock History. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://www.woodstockil.gov/community/page/woodstock-history

P. Moorhouse, personal communication, July 7, 2019.

Groundhog Days History. (2016, December 30). Retrieved July 11, 2019, from http://www.woodstockgroundhog.org/groundhog-days-history/

Catalog ID EV0563