Hodag Country Festival

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Thursday begins the four day run of the largest music festival in the Northwoods and a local chamber director says it's good business for Rhinelander.

The Hodag Country Festival annually brings 20,000 or more fans to the grounds in the Town of Pine Lake.

Chamber of Commerce Director Lauren Sackett says those visitors are spending money locally...

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One of the largest gatherings each year in the Northwoods gets underway this Thursday near Rhinelander and local officials are hoping to alleviate traffic problems caused by road construction. Two large road projects, the makeover of Stevens St. from the downtown north, and the construction of a roundabout on the city's west side means detours for Hodag Country Fest attendees.

The festival can easily bring in more than 20,000 visitors, who find their way to the music grounds in the Town of Pine Lake.

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There's lots of cowboy hats, guitars and country music lovers arriving in Rhinelander for the Northwoods largest summer music festival and it has a major economic impact in the Rhinelander area.

The Hodag Country Festival was founded in 1978. This year's event officially begins in the town of Pine Lake Thursday, though campers have been arriving for several days.

Chamber of Commerce Director Lauren Sackett says while festival goers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in stores and other local establishments, there's another hidden benefit for the community...

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The 40th annual Hodag Country Festival officially begins Thursday(7/13) at the grounds north of Rhinelander in Pine Lake. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to hear some of the top acts in country music.

But aside from the event, the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce notes all the visitors have a huge economic impact on the community.

Chamber Director Maggie Steffen says state numbers crunchers have come up with an economic impact in Rhinelander....

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  Hodag Country Fest starts on Thursday, and with the annual festival come tens of thousands of country music fans. Executive Director of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Bill Clow says Country Fest has a big impact on the local economy.

 

“Even though the majority of people are staying on the grounds of Country Fest.. Camping there.. They come into town to have dinner occasionally, the come into town to get gas or to buy supplies at the different stores. So it does have a big impact.”

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One of the Midwest's premier country music festivals gets into high gear Thursday, and a local spokesperson says that show is worth millions to Rhinelander's economy.

The Hodag Country Festival yearly features the top acts in the genre. But the estimated 25,000 "festers" like to open their wallets, says Chamber of Commerce Director Dana DeMet...

"....the state Department of Tourism estimates that each overnight visitor is worth about $180 for each night they stay and day trippers have about a $60 a day impact...."

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Many of the 'FESTERS' are already in the Rhinelander area as the 37th Hodag County Festival begins Thursday. A local official says the economic impact is large.
Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Executive Dana DeMet says they have seen much increased traffic at the chamber. He says estimates are that the city's population quadruples in size for the week of the festival....

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A contingent of Oneida county sheriff's deputies are working the Hodag Countryfest grounds in Pine Lake this weekend, as tens of thousands of music fans are here for the annual festival.

Sheriff Grady Hartman says they put as many deputies as possible at the site...

"....we patrol the grounds and we patrol the roads leading into the grounds and the perimeter. We're looking to try and solve problems before they happen and be proactive with our patrols..."

Sheriff Hartman says they typically encounter.....

  

Country Fest Wields Economic Clout

Jul 8, 2013
Matt Clark

Rhinelander is about to get hit with a wave of country music fans, during the area’s biggest tourism event. 

  The four-day Hodag Country Festival begins Thursday, and tens of thousands of people are expected to attend.  Director of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Lara Reed says the economic impact on the region is huge.

“We say for every visitor that spends the night in our community, it’s $180 a day. So if we say there’s 20,000 people for Hodag Country Fest, it’s a $3.6 million impact a day for the duration of the festival.”