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Rhinelander celebrates completion of Hodag Park stage with inaugural live music event

The Hodag Park stage and amphitheater is nearly complete.
Erin Gottsacker
The Hodag Park stage and amphitheater is nearly complete.

Construction on Rhinelander’s Hodag Park stage and amphitheater is nearly complete.

The community is celebrating Wednesday with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and its first live music event at the venue.

Rhinelander Mayor Kris Hanus says Hodag Park’s newest addition is finally ready for the public to enjoy.

“It’s a covered pavilion that is designed to have different bands and musicians to be able to play with Boom Lake in the background,” he says. “From there, the earth tapers upward like an amphitheater.”

The Hodag Park stage has been in the works for several years now, but it came to fruition this year after the city raised $400,000. It broke ground this spring.

Now, aside from lights along the walkway, the stage is almost complete.

Hanus says he hopes it’s a place where community members can gather together.

“Hodag Park is the biggest park we have, so we’ll now have a venue where 100, 200, 300 people can gather to listen to a band or public announcement,” he says. “We now have a facility where we can do that.”

The city already has plans to use the stage, including live music at next year’s Fourth of July celebration.

Otherwise, it will rent the space out to community members, nonprofits and local businesses.

The stage’s inaugural performance is Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. featuring music from Bogfoot and food trucks from CT’s deli, Casa Mexicana and the Rhinelander Brewing Company.

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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