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Jimmy the Groundhog ready to make his forecast Feb. 2 in Sun Prairie

January 16, 2019

Sunshine or clouds will make a big difference to hundreds of people in Sun Prairie on the first Saturday of February.

For the 71st straight year, the iconic Jimmy the Groundhog will be making his forecast known on Groundhog Day on Cannery Square in Sun Prairie, coming out of his den to sun or clouds.

If it’s a cloudy day, Jimmy won’t see his shadow, and winter will be over. If the sun is out, he’ll take it as a sign that we should expect six more weeks of winter weather, and he’ll go back to his den.

Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser will lead the festivities starting at 6:50 a.m. on Feb. 2, and the prognostication will take place at sunrise at 7:11 a.m.

If Esser is fortunate, he won’t suffer the same fate as former Mayor Jon Freund, who was bitten on the ear by Jimmy at the 2015 festivities.

That caused an uproar about using a live groundhog to make the prognostication, but city officials will still be using a real Jimmy, provided by Wilderness Walk Zoo and Recreation Park near Hayward.

Many businesses in Sun Prairie will have special deals or events on Groundhog Day, and the Jimmy the Groundhog mascot will also be on hand for photos after the ceremony.

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