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Bill Murray raising a glass on stage outside Navy Pier.
Comedian Bill Murray showed up to Navy Pier to honor his friend, Harold Ramis.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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Bill Murray Crashes ‘Groundhog Day’ Bash at Harry Caray’s Navy Pier

Sen. Dick Durbin attended the tribute to filmmaker Harold Ramis, who was also an investor in Harry Caray’s

Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Bill Murray surprised folks last week at Navy Pier during an event celebrating the movie Groundhog Hog Day held on Groundhog Day, Friday, February 2. Harry Caray’s Grant DePorter put the show together, reuniting members of the 1993 movie to honor the film’s director, Chicago native Harold Ramis. Ramis was also an investor at Harry Caray’s. The event marked the 10th anniversary of his death.

Luminaries like Sen. Dick Durbin attended as did Ramis’s wife, Erica Mann Ramis. She read a letter written by President Barack Obama. DePorter arranged an elaborate set as a tribute to the movie, giving folks a reason to visit Navy Pier. The winters are slow around most Chicago restaurants, but big crowds rarely fill Navy Pier during the colder months. DePorter sold movie-themed cocktails and brought in a groundhog from Woodstock, using the same animal handler that was used in the movie. Yes, there’s a possibility that this critter, nicknamed Chicago Harry, is related to the star of the movie. In a controversial ruling, Harry did see his shadow, thus sentencing Chicagoans to six more weeks of winter. Even if 40 degrees feels tropical right now.

But as the spring-starved crowd wiped their tears, Brian Doyle-Murray — who appeared in the movie as Buster Green — joined his brother and others to a toast to Harold Ramis, raising glasses of sweet vermouth. Check out the scene in the photos below.

A handler holding a groundhog.
Chicago Harry is the groundhog’s name.
Members of the movie’s cast, plus Chicago aldermen, and Harold Ramis’s wife, Erica Mann Ramis, celebrated on February 2 at Navy Pier.
A man in a funny hat holds a scroll and reads from it.
Actor Brian Doyle Murray, who played Buster in Groundhog Day, reenacts a scene from the movie.
A stage with folks holding signs.
The groundhog saw its shadow.
Sen. Dick Durbin speak at a podium.
Sen. Dick Durbin speaks at the event.
A groundhog being held by a handler.
Chicago Harry and its handler.
An ice block with Harold Ramis’s photo and the words “Groundhog day.”
Harold Ramis was also an investor at Harry’s.
A group of folks dressed up like folks from Ghostbusters.
A group of Ghostbusters superfans also attended when they heard about Bill Murray’s involvement.
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