Groundhog Day 2012: 5 things you need to know about Punxsutwney Phil

Every Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil makes the most celebrated weather forecast of the year, usually around the crack of dawn. But does he get it right? And who are those dapper guys in top hats? Here are answers to five famous Phil mysteries.

3. Who's in Phil's entourage?

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    Groundhog Club President Bill Deeley (r.) looks and listens to Punxsutawney Phil, the weather predicting groundhog, as handler John Griffiths (l.) awaits the prediction that winter has ended on Groundhog Day, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Punxsutawney, Pa.
    Keith Srakocic/AP/File
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Just who are those guys in top hats you see every year amid the media circus in Puxsutawney?

Those gentlemen are members of the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, made up of local dignitaries responsible for carrying on the Groundhog Day tradition. Aside from planning days worth of events to commemorate the trek to Gobbler's Knob, the main event where Phil makes his prediction, members of the Inner Circle also feed and care for the famous groundhog, which includes giving him a magical elixir every summer that extends his life by seven more years, according to lore.

Some of the official titles for members of the Inner Circle are Stump Warden, Iceman, Big Windmaker, and Sky Painter. (We’re not sure what those are, either.)

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