The Scene

Tom Skilling returning to Woodstock as Pridefest grand marshal

Former WGN-TV weatherman read this year’s Groundhog Day prognostication

WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling reads Woodstock Willie’s prognostication of an early spring on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, during the annual Groundhog Day Prognostication on the Woodstock Square.

Tom Skilling will be serving as the grand marshal for this year’s Woodstock PrideFest parade and festivities.

The city’s pride celebration is scheduled to take place June 9. PrideFest was first celebrated in Woodstock in 2019, according to previous Northwest Herald reporting.

Skilling retired from WGN-TV at the end of February, but not before he announced Woodstock Willie’s early spring prediction during Groundhog Day festivities.

Skilling had high praise for Woodstock during the prognostication, calling the city “magical” and “gorgeous.”

Several months later, Skilling is set to return to Woodstock to partake in the city’s Pride festivities. “Tom brings a wealth of experience and passion to his role as Grand Marshal, having participated in Chicago Pride events for decades. As a champion for equality, acceptance and all things weather, he has dedicated his life to breaking down barriers and empowering the LGBTQIA+ community,” according to the release.

Melissa McMahon, the President of Woodstock Pride, said in a news release from the Woodstock Pride organization that the it was “thrilled” to have Skilling participate as the grand marshal. “His participation is a great symbol of acceptance of all LGBTQIA+ individuals by all people and we know he will bring incredible energy and passion to the event,” McMahon said in the release.

Other events throughout the festival weekend are also being planned. More information is available at

Claire O'Brien

Claire O'Brien is a reporter who focuses on Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Woodstock, Marengo and the McHenry County Board. Feel free to email her at