Lights of the Northwoods shines bright as an event for the community created by the community
Hodag Park will light up once again with hundreds of thousand of Christmas lights.
The Lights of the Northwoods display opens to the public Friday.
Bill Freudenberg scoped out the park ahead of the opening, pointing out all the different light displays.
“Everything runs in sync. They got this all laid out to a tee,” said Freudenberg. He’s the Vice President of the Lights of the Northwoods.
Some of the displays are one’s people come to look forward to every year now at the Lights of the Northwoods at Hodag Park in Rhinelander.
But like every year, the group of volunteers finds new ways to grow.
“All these poles, see up top there with that white box. That’s all a speak system that runs from here all the way down to the beach house,” said Freudenberg.
New this year, music will play out along the walking path closest to Boom Lake.
Freudenberg said the community response to the Light of the Northwoods, now in its 5th year, has been amazing.
“There’s a lot of pride here. There really, really is. People really look forward to this every year. Last year, we had people coming up all the way from Appleton and coming from the UP of Michigan,” he said.
A year’s worth of planning all comes to down to four weeks. Volunteers started putting in stakes and the first lights up in October.
They’re working hard right up to opening night and throughout the display.
It’s not with without challenges. Windy and cold weather makes putting up the lights difficult. The group has also had problems with people cutting wires and squirrels chewing through them.
“You think, ‘Oh this tree is going to work fine’, then you find out, ‘Oh no the tops eaten out.,’” said Scott Campbell as he was working on fixing the lights on one of the taller trees in the park.
Despite working the challenges, Freudenberg says it’s all worth when people come to see the lights.
“You stand up there in the middle of that road directing traffic. You just look at the looks on their faces. That speaks for itself. That really does. They say, ‘oh look at the lights’ that is gorgeous,’” he said.
The lights go on at 5:00 p.m. Friday and will be on every night from 5:00 to 9:00 through the end of the year.
You are asked to bring a monetary or food donation for local food pantries.
Lights of the Northwoods has several events planned at the park this year, including fireworks on News Year’s Day.