Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Move over Punxsutawney Phil; Jimmy the Groundhog is gunning for your job. Dubbed the “Groundhog Capital of the World,” Sun Prairie is well-known for its annual Groundhog Day celebration, which typically includes a fun run (the “Hibernation Hustle”), live entertainment and, of course, weather predictions from Jimmy the Groundhog himself.

The town hosts a slew of other community events throughout the year, including the Taste of the Arts Fair, the Sweet Corn Festival, the Flags of Freedom marching band show and the Georgia O’Keeffe Celebration — the artist was born in Sun Prairie in 1887.

At just over $270,000, home prices in Sun Prairie are more affordable than those in other Dane County towns (nearby Fitchburg prices are about $12,000 more, for example). The job market is healthy, too. Unemployment in the county was only 7.3% in June — lower than any other county in the state.

The Sun Prairie School District is one of the city’s major employers, and with a new high school currently in the works, more jobs are on the horizon. Sun Prairie West High School is expected to open in fall of 2022. — Aly J. Yale

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