Ten local establishments are getting into the groundhog spirit by taking part in the first-ever Groundhog Days Pub Crawl on the Square, part of Woodstock’s official Groundhog Days celebration.
Bryson Calvin, who owns Main Street PourHouse, is expecting a good turnout for the first year of the pub crawl.
“The more opportunities that we can give to the public, and especially the people of Woodstock, to come out and hang out and experience what the Square has to offer, not only as far as bars and restaurants, but the merchants, that’s a great thing,” Calvin said. “I hope that it continues to build and build.”
Rick Bellairs, who has served on the Groundhog Days Committee for more than 13 years, helped to bring the event together.
According to Bellairs, the committee has tossed around the idea of a pub crawl for years, and informally, some locals have taken part in their own version of a crawl the week of Groundhog Days. This year the committee approached bar and restaurant staff, who jumped on the idea.
Pam Moorhouse has served on the Groundhog Days Committee for 20 years. Moorhouse, who works at Woodstock Public Library as a circulation manager, attended a breakfast in 1995 with three co-workers from the library, and they all decided to join the committee. Currently, she serves as the co-chair along with Craig Krandel.
“Our big mission is to get people to Woodstock and support our local retailers. Even though it’s Groundhog Day, we are always looking to change it up every year,” said Moorhouse.
There are 10 participating establishments: Corner Pub & Grille, 135 Washington St.; Benton Street Tap, 219 N. Benton St.; Main Street PourHouse, 214 Main St.; Liquid Blues, 126 N. Benton St.; The Cabin, 223 N. Benton St.; BBQ King Smokehouse, 125 E. Calhoun St.; Ortmann’s Red Iron Tavern, 101 E. Church St.; D.C. Cobb’s, 226 Main St.; Public House of Woodstock, 101 N. Johnson St.; and Wayne’s Lanes, 109 E. Church St. All will feature food or drink specials. Guests are encouraged to visit at least three of the establishments to have their tickets validated to be entered to win prizes.
Several participants crafted unique offerings just for the event, such as “Déjà vu,” a mixed drink offered at Ortmann’s. At Benton Street Tap, the featured cocktail is sweet vermouth with a twist, which was Rita’s drink of choice in the movie “Groundhog Day.”
The pub crawl will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Tickets are $20 and give the ticket-holder access to various food and drink specials. They are available for advance purchase and also will be sold the night of the event at all participating establishments and at Read Between the Lynes, 111 E. Van Buren St. For more information, visit woodstockgroundhog.org.