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Hodag Country Festival kicks off

Erin Gottsacker

Hodag Country Festival kicks off Thursday with a lineup including Brett Westgrove, Neal McCoy and Jon Pardi.

This year’s four-day event includes headliners Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Lauren Alaina and Russell Dickerson.

Campers arrived en masse Wednesday to set up the chair line.

Festival coordinator Dixie Nieuwenhuis says she expects turnout this year to be slightly larger than last year as concerns over COVID continue to ease.

It brings a lot of people into the area to not only enjoy the music, but also the great Northwoods,” she says. “It’s just such a wonderful time of year to be in northern Wisconsin. You can’t beat it.”

More than 30,000 people attend the festival each year. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimates the event has more than a $10 million economic impact on the Rhinelander area.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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