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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Jimmy the Groundhog

Definition: A groundhog based in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, the proclaimed "World Headquarters of the Groundhog," whose annual emergence from the ground on February 2nd foretells the coming of spring. The Groundhog Day tradition has been celebrated in Sun Prairie since 1948 when artist Ira Bennett of Eau Claire created a series of postcards relating various cities around Wisconsin to holidays.  Bennett selected Groundhog Day for Sun Prairie because--this requires some stretch of the imagination--the groundhog sees his shadow when the sun comes up on the prairie. Thus, Sun Prairie.

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