Quirky Ohio: Groundhog Day Movie Marathon

Welcome to #QuirkyOhio, our 2017 blog series highlighting Ohio's odd, unusual and downright wacky experiences, places and events. Follow along as we profile some of the quirkiest parts of the state!groundhog day 4.pngOne of the great things about living in a city in the Midwest is that it gets to be quirky. Columbus may not have a well-known, distinctive culture like New Orleans or Portland, but there is no shortage of unique and interesting things happening. One of my favorite quirky events is coming up on January 28th: the Gateway Film Center's 24-hour Groundhog Day Movie Marathon.If you're not familiar with it, Groundhog Day is a 1993 film starring Bill Murray as a weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop on February 2 and has to repeat the day over and over until he learns how to break the cycle. During the Gateway's movie marathon - now in its eighth year - participants are subjected to watching it 12 times within 24 hours (but because the movie repeats itself, it feels like an eternity of d©j  vu). If you successfully make it to the end, you are awarded 2 free movie passes a month for the next year!I've completed the marathon twice, and let me just say, it's quite the experience! Last year the event sold out, and a packed theater of a couple hundred people stayed awake from midnight to midnight in order to earn their free tickets. Yes, there are bathroom breaks, but you can't leave the building and there are rules about watching the film-you can't be on your phone when the movie is playing or sleep through entire showings. Marathon goers are encouraged to interact with the film, Rocky Horror Picture Show style, to stay awake. By time the credits roll for the 12th and final showing, the audience has become one big, sleep deprived, smelling-like-popcorn family. It is definitely a test of mental and physical endurance - but, on the bright side, you'll have all the lyrics to the original song Weatherman memorized after hearing it a dozen times.groundhog day 1.pngIf you're planning on joining me for this year's marathon (of course I'm going again!), here are a few tips:

  • Buy your tickets in advance and get to the theater early to get in line - seats are first come first serve!
  • Pack your toothbrush and a change of clothes - freshening up after being in the same room for 17 hours makes you feel much more awake.
  • Charge a couple of those pocket battery packs for your phone so you can post to social media between showings without it dying.

What's your favorite quirky event in Ohio? Have you ever done the Groundhog Day Movie Marathon? Let us know in the comments!A version of this blog post originally appeared on Wesleigh's personal blog, todwellinpossibilities.com.