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Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all you hold dear! The weather certainly makes it feel like the Holiday Season and several area communities are making sure there are many “Christmas-y” things to do on this coming Friday and Saturday. So dig out your snuggly, warm festive finery and make some great memories in the Northwoods!
Boulder Junction: It’s a busy weekend in Boulder Junction. Friday, November 28, starts off with the 21st Annual Craft Fair hosted by the Lioness Club from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Crafters will be selling their handmade items and lunch will be served by the Lioness Club at the Community Center. A drawing will be held for the cash raffle as well.
Once again, the Library Cookie Walk will be held at the Acorn Lodge from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on the same day. The Friends of the Boulder Junction Library will be selling a huge selection of beautiful cookies and sumptuous candies until all the goodies are sold out.
Can it be 26 years already? You betcha! Also that day, the 26th Annual Christmas Walk will fill downtown Boulder Junction with happy shoppers along the luminary-lined walkways of the brightly lit stores and businesses from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Stores will have treats for the shoppers who, later, can take an old fashioned sleigh ride. Carolers will fill the streets with Christmas music - all adding to the festivities. See the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree where Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will stop in to delight young and old alike.
On Saturday, November 29, bring the children to the Community Center where they can have lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Claus after visiting the Christmas shopping house. There will also be activities – all this from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
One of the truly great opportunities Northern Wisconsin offers is the widespread diversity available to hunters during hunting season. From renting a rustic cabin to purchasing acreage for personal hunting advantages, the Northwoods not only has a vast array of game, it offers the best atmosphere to enhance every hunting experience.
It’s only a few weeks until deer gun hunting season opens and the DNR has made quite a few changes to the program this year. Perhaps the most interesting (and the one that makes the most sense) is the dissolution of the Deer Management Units (DMUs). Now county lines will be used to establish rules applying to boundary limitations.
There are Deer Management Zones and the map for these zones is included in the webpage link; http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0554.pdf.
More than half of the counties in the state have a ban on baiting and feeding deer. The counties where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found as well as areas within 10 miles of the area known to have CWD are included this area. The bottom third of the state, with the exception of Ouzakee County, has the ban and that ban reaches as far north as Marathon and Shawano counties. In the northwest part of the state, Burnett, Washburn, Polk and Barron counties also have the same ban.
The laws for feeding or baiting deer are quite extensive and hunters may want to refresh their memories or pick up more information at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0554.pdf. For example, baiting can only be done no sooner than 24 hours prior to deer archery season in counties where it is allowed.
This year there is no T-Zone hunt in December in the Northern Forest Zone. There is a four-day antlerless hunt-only in the Central Farmland and Forest Zones Dec. 11-14. This year’s bonus tags are for bucks and the rules, taken from the DNR website, are as follows:Bonus buck opportunities will be offered in the Southern Farmland Zone units only.
This Elmira Cookstove provides full off-grid heat and cooking in a charming, nostalgic design.
After last year’s extreme winter and the horrific LP gas prices, even a rise in natural gas prices, many people are looking for alternative ways to heat their home this winter. Since 2000, prices for fuel have skyrocketed and home owners have emptied their wallets trying to keep warm.
The energy companies offer some suggestions such as locking in a price with a monthly billing program. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will hold to the agreement as some LP gas customers found out the hard way. The flip side of this, the next year’s payments will be calculated on the higher price for the previous season.
Solar power, wind generators and wood burning are alternative energy sources for heating. With the abundance of wood in this area, wood is usually the cheapest, even if wood needs to be purchased. Payback on furnaces and other wood burners is usually fairly fast as the cost of the burner can be recouped because the wood can be obtained for free in many cases.
Solar energy is a clean, efficient way to run a furnace. In the Northwoods this could be a bit risky if used as the only source for heating and generally the payback is very lengthy. This is also true for wind energy generators. However, personal preference can make this a great alternative as an energy source as long as there is back up heating equipment.
Watching a wood fire brings a lot of enjoyment when it is utilized for heat and there is a lot of variety in the type of wood burning appliances. Select from small cast iron wood stoves to massive outdoor furnaces that can heat more than one building at the same time.
Photo credit: the Phelps Chamber of Commerce
So far we have told you about the two great cranberry festivals happening this weekend. Hold on to your hats – there is A LOT more going on this weekend.
Let’s begin with the fishing tournaments being held in Phelps and St. Germain. Starting Friday, Oct 3 until Sunday, October 5, the 34th Midwest Musky Classic headquarters is at the Phelps Chamber of Commerce with fishing on North and South Twin Lakes, Big Sand Lake and Lac Vieux Desert. This is one of the longest tournaments of the season. For entry details, call 715-545-3800 or visit the website at www.phelpswi.us.
Down the road in St. Germain is the 26th Annual Greater Wisconsin Muskie Tournament. This is a catch and release tournament that will be held on 10 area lakes. The St. Germain Community Center serves as headquarters for this event. Fishing is Saturday, 7 AM – 7 PM and Sunday, 6 AM – 12 PM. The entrants are eligible for cash drawings and can win fabulous door prizes. Contact the Chamber at 715-477-2205 or look them up online at: www.st-germain.com.
Heading west from St. Germain, the Woodruff Fire Department celebrates National Fire Prevention Week with their Pig Roast and Gun Raffle, Saturday, Oct. 4, from 1 pm – 5 PM. There will be an open house featuring food, refreshments and tons of raffles for everyone. The address is 1418 First Avenue, Woodruff. Call 715-356-6211 or visit the website at www.townofwoodruff.org.
After Cran-a-Rama or Cranberry Fest, think about heading over to Boulder Junction as the Friends of the Boulder Junction Library host the 13th Annual Beer and Wine Tasting a the Boulder Junction Community Center from 5-8 PM. Persons must be 21 to purchase the $20 admission tickets that include wine and beer sampling, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction and raffles to benefit the Boulder Junction Library.
The cranberry is king this weekend and the Manitowish Waters Cranberry Growers Association and the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce have joined together for Cran-a-Rama (formerly known as Cranberry Colorama) this Saturday, Oct. 4.
Beginning at 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, the Community Center near the airport in Manitowish Waters will host,”Everything Cranberry”. All day there will be the arts and crafts show – and so much more!
Know your way around the kitchen? Why not sign up for the 16th Annual Cranberry Cooking Contest? Pre-registration is required and there are four categories for the competition; breads/muffins, desserts (i.e. cakes, cookies, pies), main dishes/salads/appetizers and sauces/jams & jellies/miscellaneous (i.e. candies, beverages, soups). Contestants may enter as many as three categories but no more than one entry per category. For more details and the entry forms go to: http://manitowishwaters.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cranarama-Contest-2014.pdf.
Here is a fabulous chance to sample dishes from some of the area’s outstanding restaurants and food vendors. The “Taste of Harvest” will be selling mouth-watering food from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. A leisurely pontoon ride may just be the thing after feasting and the Manitowish Waters Lakes Association is offering free pontoon rides.
Of course, the day would not be complete without purchasing cranberries available at Cran-a-Rama. For a perfect take home treat, stop by the Lioness Cranberry Bake Sale. There is also a self-guided fall color tour. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a free tour of the area’s cranberry marshes exploding in seasonal colors. Hop on the free shuttle bus and enjoy the bustle in the marshes.
Just a reminder, there are free Cranberry marsh tours starting with a presentation at the Manitowish Waters Community Center from 10:00 – 11:00 AM every Friday. During the presentation there are an informational video, and question and answer session, educational displays and cranberry samples.
For the third weekend in a row, visitors and locals can enjoy a fabulous festival that celebrates all that is the Northwoods. October 2 – 5 Eagle River puts on its party face for the 35th Cranberry Fest 2014.
Thursday, October 2, there will be cranberry marsh and Three Lakes Winery tours leaving the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at 11:00 and 11:30 AM. On Friday, tours will depart 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM. Tours on Saturday will depart every 20 minutes from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Sunday tours depart hourly from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Tours are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations are requested; please call 800-359-6315 or 715-479-6400 for more information and to make reservations.
The Vilas County Fair Grounds are home base for Cranberry Fest Festival Grounds and there are events scattered throughout the Eagle River downtown area. For a detailed map of the location for specific vendor activities and featured events, click here and go to the back page: http://etypeservices.com/SWF/LocalUser/Vilas1/Magazine64449/Full/index.aspx?id=64449#/1/. This is the Cranberry Town Crier, a publication of the Vilas County News that has details and feature stories of the events for Cranberry Fest 2014.
Friday, there is the early bird registration for the Berry Bog Bile and 5K Run registration at Riverview Park from 5:00- 7:00 PM.
On Saturday and Sunday, while they last, the “Make-a-Wish” Largest Cheesecake and cranberry and craisin sales will be available in the heart of the festival grounds on Saturday. Cranberries and craisins will also be sold at the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, and at the corner of Highway 70 and Railroad Street.
The first event is the Pancake Breakfast that will be held at the festival grounds from 7:00 AM until 10:00 AM on both Saturday and Sunday.
Life is golden in Minocqua, as the town launches the 50th year of the famous Beef-a-Rama. Downtown Minocqua will be filled, this Saturday, with the intoxicating scent of beef lovingly grilled over open flames. Each business features their own prize-winning combinations of marinades, spices, rubs and sauces.
But Beef-a-Rama is hardly just about grilling delectable roasts! There are myriads of activities and events to dazzle every fest attendee. Tonight the contestants will pick up their roast at the Chamber of Commerce after a kickoff day with an art showing of the “50 Cows for 50 years” and the Veggie Rama. Tonight, “Mama’s Little Hippies” will be performing at Torpy Park for the musical kick off. Saturday’s first event is the continuation of the “50 Cows for 50 Years" at the Lakeland Art Gallery from 6 AM until 4 PM. Rump roast registration begins at 7 AM at the American Legion.
At 7 AM the streets are closed to vehicle traffic and shuttles are available from LUHS, Island City Lanes and Hawks Ice Arena.
At 8:15 AM the "Calf Run" for the kids takes off, followed by the "Rump Roast Run", a 5 or 10 K walk/run that leaves from Minocqua Veterans Park at 9 AM. Music by Dan Lincoln and Jim DiDomenico also starts at 9 at Torpy Park.
Making a return appearance, the Oscar Meyer Wiernermobile will be located at the south end of Oneida Street. Beginning at 9 AM the Prime Choice Craft Show can be found on the lower level of Torpy Park. There is a Non-Profit Pasture at Island City Ice Cream’s lawn.
Need something to fix that dry throat? Head for the Lakeland Rotary Beer Garden on Chicago Street beginning at 10 AM until 8:30 PM. Music will be performed by Brian McLaughlin.
The colors may be a little bit behind this year, but there has been a shift in the weather pattern to let us know fall is knocking on the Northwoods’ front door. Communities across the area will be celebrating a truly favorite time of year when steamy bowls of comfort food and comfy, soft sweaters become part of the daily routine.
Here are some of the featured events occurring in the next couple of weeks. Don’t put away the swimsuits just yet – Indian Summer may be warming things up soon!
St. Germain’s 55th Colorama
This long time fall tradition has something for everyone who wants to celebrate autumn in all its glory. Saturday, September 20, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the Community Park and adjoining grounds will be filled with everything from a lavish Craft Show to horse-drawn wagon rides.
Fill your kitchen with the nature’s bounty at the Farmers Market. Local brewery, Tribute and Bulls Falls Brewery of Eagle River will be on hand as well as wines crafted by Brigadoon Winery from Tripoli. Brigadoon will also have wine tasting available to assist in making a perfect purchase.
Rocking W Stables will be giving the wagon rides around the grounds. The ever-popular “Mums the Word” Fall Flower Sale will showcase some of the most beautiful selections of these stunning fall blooms. The children (and adult spectators) have a ball at the Pumpkin Painting and come up with some pretty amazing designs.
What would a celebration be without food? Colorama attendees will have a great time feasting on menu selections from Taco Joe’s, JPN’s Concessions and Harka Greek Food.
Plan on a great time and bring all your friends and family to make an everlasting memory!
Lake Nokomis Cranberry Tours
The Northwoods takes time to celebrate its favorite fruit as the St.
As hard as it is to believe, this coming weekend is the Labor Day holiday. We have been blessed with very beautiful weather this summer, not too hot - not too cool. Thousands of visitors have come to the Northwoods to enjoy the perfect weather and the unlimited number of fun events and activities.
While making our plans to celebrate the weekend, let's take a moment to think - what actually is Labor Day and when did it start? According to the History Channel, Labor Day started during the time of the Industrial Revolution where workers were working 12 hours a day, seven days a week just to eek out a minimal livelihood.
According to the Department of Labor, the first Labor Day celebrations were enacted by individual municipalities. It wasn't until after 12 years of these celebrations that Congress stepped forward and passed a bill making the first Monday of September the official Labor Day. Also included in that bill were stipulations that parades would be held followed by gatherings of workers and their families.
What the Department of Labor did not include was information that the History Channel used to explain why the Labor Day celebrations came to be in the individual cities across the country.
Specifically, the first Labor Day celebration was in New York City on September 5, 1882. It was sponsored by the Central Labor Union. The union sponsored a march where workers took an unpaid day off to participate in the first Labor Day parade in US history.
Labor unions were organized in the late 19th century to fight the horrible working conditions, particularly in poor and immigrant workers sectors.
In some States, there were no age restrictions and children as young as five or six were forced to work, usually at wages much lower than those of the adults.
Admit it. We are spoiled up here. The towns do a fabulous job of creating big events throughout the summer. Guess what? We have an open weekend this weekend! There are lots of smaller events sprinkled throughout the area. So we used a few of these mixed with some great recreational resources to help you decide what you want to do with your free time this weekend!
We are so blessed to have hundreds of activities at our disposal. Now is the time to get out and discover why this is the greatest vacation area!Color Dash – You have been hearing and reading about it – what is it? This is a 5 K fun run; meaning it is not timed. It is partnered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin – Northwoods branch. Packet pick up starts at Rhinelander High School Saturday, August 23 at 8 AM and the Dash starts at 10 AM. Throughout the race runners will be showered with a rainbow of colors making for some eye-popping ensembles at the end of the race. The registration fee is as follows: $40 Individual, $35 Team Member (min 4, max 16), and $85 Family* *For 3, $15 ea. additional (Up to 6). There are advance purchase prices. The Day of the event prices are $10 more. 5 & Under Are Free. Check out the Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/events/654217117957478/. Kartway, Little Falls Miniature Golf and Rocking W Stables in Eagle River on Highway 45 N. There is something for every member of the family here! Go Karts, bumper boats, mini golf, horseback rides and even a thrilling ZIPLINE! This is a great place for parents and kids alike! Check it out at http://www.northwoodsattractions.com/. Deer, and donkeys and alpacas – OH MY! Take a trip up Highway 155 north of St.
There are a few people in life that are truly, remarkably memorable. In St. Germain, we are lucky to have several personalities at this level. One such individual passed away last year but he still has a very tangible presence.
This past August 3, 2014 would have been Steve Pulec’s 58th birthday. Sadly, though he successfully won the battle against his lung cancer, the cancer in his brain claimed victory. November 4, 2013, he left this earth to begin his new life in the next dimension.
Steve was never one to shy away from making a new friend. His infectious smile was rarely absent and his raspy, Chicago South side drawl punctuated his many stories. His work life centered on serving the public. He began working as a youth for his father, Tony, and continued in the hospitality business in the St. Germain/Sayner area.
The New Twilight Bar and Grill is an extremely successful business venture he entered into with two Milwaukee friends, whom he eventually bought out. Through the many years in the bar business, he was able to combine both the local and tourist trade into a continually thriving and growing business concern.
A devoted father, Steve welcomed daughters, Tara and Kelly, who worked for him. But it was the new love of his life, Sheila Boland that was the crowning touch. He reveled in that he had it all – a great business, a wonderful family and a woman he adored. That was when he was told he had cancer and that the prognosis was not very good.
Steve and Sheila married on a snowy day in February, 2013, a true celebration of their love and dedication to each other. Sheila was a natural at helping Steve run the Twilight and today, she and Tara still manage the booming business.