This video is a VHS rip of the Sonic 3 satellite feed provided by Sega's PR firm at the game's launch. It includes interviews with Punxsutawney residents and the tuxedo-clad “inner circle” of luminaries who care for Phil and preside over the event each year. It also shows some behind-the scenes footage of the Sega event staff unrolling and inflating the Sonic balloon. Watch for a brief shot of the huge “instruction manual” sign explaining the order in which the balloon's compartments were to be inflated; it's fascinating. (Apparently, some sections contained helium, others contained air and some had a precise mixture of the two.)
The Sonic balloon seen here made its first appearance in the 1993 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where it had a disastrous showing. Strong winds blew it into a light pole, which punctured the canvas. This caused Sonic to deflate and collapse to the ground, where he broke the shoulder of an off-duty policeman! Still, Sonic's appearance made him the first-ever video-game character balloon to appear in Macy's parade. And he was obviously repaired in time for his big day in Punxsutawney (where the wind wasn't much calmer, as this footage indicates).
The video also includes an original Sonic 3 TV commercial with a Punxsutawney theme, some game footage and interviews with two industry insiders. One was a buyer for the Wherehouse retail chain, the other was the senior editor of VideoGames magazine.
Here's the footage! I recommend saving it on your hard drive, as Youtube videos tend to be short- lived. I think that's the final game in the footage, but I may be wrong. Keep your eyes peeled for small changes that could indicate a beta. Also, I've never seen those Sonic 3 pins before. Rare!