Happy New Year 2017!
We wish all of you the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous 2017 New Year! Looking back, 2016 had some really great moments in the Northwoods.
It did get off to a slow start as El Nino really put a damper on the snow season. Most of the snowmobiling was limited to February - even causing the St. Germain Radar Run Races to move to a safer location in mid-February due to concern over thin ice last season.
The good news was the warmer spring temperatures that gave a rare May gift with no frost for the month and a boost to gardens and floral plantings.
Summer was spectacular with plenty of sunny days and lovely temperatures. To top that off, there was still sufficient rain to keep the entire area a wonderful, lush green well into September.
It was a great boost to local businesses as tourism flourished in the warm, and not too hot, weather. Pig in the Pines expanded to Bacon, BBQ and Bands, welcoming the rock bands Head East, Hyde and Road Trip to the stage in early August.
Fall once again was late, with plenty of comfortable days well into November. Technically, Indian Summer was very brief as the first night temperatures fell below freezing wasn’t until Oct. 20. But the above normal temperatures were very welcome.
The first snowfall didn't appear until Nov. 20 and Thanksgiving there were a couple of inches on the ground - great for the deer hunters!
Fortunately, that week we started to get some cold weather in earnest and the area’s lakes and waterways began to freeze.
Snowmobile trails in Vilas County opened three days later than the target date of Dec. 12. However the ice was too thin and the marshes still too wet for snowmobile traffic. Oneida County opened their trails Dec. 20.
Once again, the winter weather turned business friendly as the cold weather allowed for many lakes to be marked and there was sufficient snow for the clubs to get out and groom by Christmas week.
And the snowmobilers arrived and arrived and arrived!
Moving on past 2016 with great memories, it’s time to welcome 2017, anticipating some really fun events. Fibber’s Tundra Plunge is set for Saturday, Jan. 7 on Big St, Germain Lake. The 17th Annual Polar Bear Plunge is in Three Lakes at Bonnie’s Lakeside.
Eagle River has announced that the “Ice Castle” will return to the depot area on Railroad St. again this year as there is sufficient ice to build the structure. The target date for completion is Jan. 12.
A new event, “Arctic Warrior”, is sponsored by the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce scheduled for Jan. 14. This is a full day of snowshoeing and obstacle race competitions in St. Germain.
Beginning next week this blog will feature details about all these events to make planning easier!
Have a wonderful and blessed New Year’s!