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New Jimmy Character, Critter to Debut at Prognostication Ceremony

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (CHANNEL 3000)- The new Jimmy the groundhog plus a mascot understudy will appear for the first time at the annual winter prediction ceremony in Sun Prairie Tuesday, a city business group said.

Ti Gauger, Sun Prairie Downtown Business Improvement District manager, said Jimmy XII will give his first Groundhog Day prediction at 7:11 a.m. at Cannery Square in downtown Sun Prairie.

Jimmy XII replaces Sun Prairie's previous Jimmy, who was released to the wild in May 2015, three months after he bit Sun Prairie Mayor Jon Freund's ear during the 67th annual Sun Prairie Groundhogs Day Prognostication ceremony.

The ceremony Tuesday will begin at 6:50 am with a Color Guard from the Sun Prairie Police Department, declarations from the Mayor of the City of Sun Prairie, Paul Esser, and a Gubernatorial Proclamation presented by State Representative Gary Hebl declaring it officially Groundhogs Day in the State of Wisconsin.

This year downtown Sun Prairie will welcome a Jimmy the Groundhog character arriving with a fire department escort to the ceremony.

City of Sun Prairie officials pardoned 2015's Jimmy the Groundhog for the biting incident and honored his service at a city council meeting in February 2015. The character costume was built and donated to Downtown Sun Prairie by Keith Janick of CJ Huggables and Mascots USA, according to a Sun Prairie Downtown BID news release. The understudy will be chosen through a contest on the BID's Facebook page.

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