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Picture from Eagle River World Championship Derby Facebook page
For 52 years Eagle River has lived up to its title as “Snowmobile Capital of the World™”, when it launched the 2015 AMSOIL Eagle River World Championship Derby Races. This past weekend the snowmobiles that lit the racing fever were celebrated as the 2015 Woody's Traction Eagle River World Championship Derby Vintage Races were held Jan. 9-11. The winner of the 2015 World Vintage Champion is Matt Goede, from New Germany, Minn. racing on a Polaris Starfire.
Starting Thursday, Jan. 15, snocross and oval racing practice begins at 8:00 AM and racing begins at 2:00 PM with the first snocross and oval racing rounds at the Derby track.
An exciting Friday begins at 9:00 AM with round two of the races. Several of the classes will have finals later at Friday Night Thunder.
Saturday, the Snocross finals will be held and at 2 PM during the AMSOIL World Championship Top 10 qualifying race. After these races, the track will have a “knock down” in preparation for Sunday’s oval finals and the Championship race that begins at 3:00 PM.
Of course, there is much more at the Derby track for spectators to enjoy. There is the fantastic indoor Derby Expo Hall where vendors show off the latest and greatest in snowmobiles, accessories and gear. It is also home to the newest addition to the Derby Expo Hall, the Derby Loft. This is an inside dining and drinking arena providing Derby attendees with a much needed accommodation that opened in time for the 50th Championship Derby.
There are also the very popular Hotseats that are enclosed, heated seating, elevated for a premier view of the racing action. They also feature in-box refreshments for the spectators.
If you are unable to attend in person, there is also a live feed of the races that is available online and presented by Woody’s.
When it comes to winter, the word is “OUTDOORS”! January 3 was the epitome for the hardiness that exemplifies typical Northwoods residents and visitors. There were two charitable fundraising events that took on the battle against cancer head on.
A new charity was the beneficiary of the plunge at Fibbers Restaurant and Resort on St. Germain Lake. The first-ever, “Tundra Plunge”, took place as 66 brave souls splashed into Big St. Germain Lake to raise money for the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
The Foundation has been raising money for research as well as providing care at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinics. Since its inception 45 years ago, $16 million dollars has been raised to fight this demon disease.
In true Fibbers fashion, Rob and Kay Manthei sponsored the event that was deemed at “huge success” by the Lombardi foundation.
That same day, Bonnie’s Lakeside in Three Lakes, was the new location for the, "15th Annual Polar Plunge," that had a record breaking year. A stunning $50,500 in pledges was raised for the “Angel on My Shoulder” fund.
Angel on My Shoulder provides emotional and financial support locally for families affected by cancer. Each summer, children who have had to face the wreckage of cancer in their lives find support, understanding and fun with other children at camps held to help them deal with this disease.
Discover Wisconsin and Bonnie’s Lakeside joined WRJO in sponsoring, promoting and participating in the event that has raised more than $383,000 in the past 15 years. This year 101 plungers braved temperatures in the 20s and took the icy leap into Spirit Lake in front of approximately 1,200 spectators.
What can top these icy winter events? How about the kickoff to the 52nd AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby week? Starting Jan.9 through Jan.
The Christmas season is in high gear and, while the communities do a fabulous job with their special events, there are several activities that don’t require a specific time and date.
Rocking W Stables and Sleigh Rides: What is more memorable than taking the family and friends on an authentic sleigh ride in the woods? Dean Nolan, and his staff of drivers, beautiful horses and cozy warming hut, deliver everything that is magical about a sleigh ride. The ride traverses 120 wooded acres populated by deer and other wildlife. Halfway through the hour-long ride, there is a stop at a toasty roaring bonfire complete with delicious hot cocoa or other steamy drinks.
Sleigh rides began on Dec. 12 and continue until Jan. 4. You can hop on a group sleigh or reserve a private one for your group’s size. The price is $10 per person on the group sleigh ride and $100 for a private sleigh for up to 10 people. For more than 10 people, it is an additional $10 per person.
Call for reservations at 715-617-6779. Rocking W Stables is located behind Northland Pines Schools off Highway 45 north on Pleasure Island Road. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kartway-Rocking-W-Stables/165105380344576.
Minocqua:The Holiday Model Train Show is open Dec. 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30 2014, at the old train depot in Downtown Minocqua from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The display features O gauge trains, a large scale that was popular before World War II. The display reflects old fashioned Christmases of a bygone era.
Before heading out, you might want to consider throwing your ice skates in the back seat and make a visit to the rink at Torpy Park in Minocqua. There are bathrooms, picnic tables and a warming house at the rink.
Only three more days remaining until the start of gun deer season. The DNR has made many changes to this season’s regulations and hunters can site in only the bucks in the Northern Forest Region this year.
One question many hunters are keyed in on - what will the weather be this year? Hunters recall a pretty cold nine days last year. Looking at the records from last year for Eagle River from Weather Underground, on the whole, temperatures this year will be about 10-12 degrees warmer than last year. This is true for most of the period with the exception of the last weekend. AccuWeather is showing a 10 degree cool down for the last weekend. This year there are no below zero temperatures forecasted for the entire hunt.
Last year it snowed six of the first nine days with little or no accumulation. AccuWeather is forecasting snow for Saturday and Monday with snow and rain forecasted for Sunday. There is also snow forecasted for Thursday. No significant accumulations are being called for.
Prior to this season, the area has received in excess of 25 inches. Last year nearly three inches of snow fell on the Wednesday before hunting season opened but temperatures were in the mid-30s. Bottom line – there is definitely better tracking snow for this year.
With deer herds being down in the region, this is good news for the hunters. There are a couple cold days but the start of the season looks very tolerable. But still the same – keep those coffee and hot chocolate thermos close by!
Below are the daily highs and lows recorded in 2013 for Eagle River as reported by Weather Underground:
Nov. 23 12 / 5
Nov. 24 21 / -1
Nov. 25 32 /2
Nov. 26 28/ 7
The snow is a perfect mood setter for the upcoming week. Yes , ladies and gents – gun hunting season is this week and businesses are planning to launch everything from entertainment to shopping spectaculars for all the hunting widows.
If you haven’t made plans yet, here are a few events to inspire this festive time of year!
Eagle River – Holiday Bazaar and Cookie Sale will be held at the Kalmar Center, Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9 am until 3 PM. Shop for Christmas gifts from the array of crafters while enjoying refreshments and raffles. Proceeds from the homemade cookie sale go to Headstart and Warm the Children. Admission is one food pantry donation. Call 715-479-5850 for more details.
Manitowish Waters – Now here is a great idea! Head up to the North Lakeland Discovery Center from 1 PM until 3 PM and make your own Christmas wreath! Naturalist Licia Johnson will be showing participants how to make their own one-of-a-kind felt flower wreath. The cost is $20 for members of the Discovery Center and $25 for non-members. All materials are provided. For more details check out the website at www.discoverycenter.net or call 715-543-2085.
Lac du Flambeau – It’s a night of great county music as Jo Dee Messina comes to the casino hall to delight her fans with a show beginning at 8 PM on Saturday, Nov. 22. Ticket prices are $20, $30 and $40. To purchase tickets online go to http://www.lakeofthetorches-tickets.com/reservation?event=8539 or call 800-25-TORCH. Hurry – they are almost sold out!
Conover– Wisconsin Badgers Tailgate Party will begin at 10:00 AM at Club 45 Sports Bar and Grill, off Old 45. The popular Badger Tailgate Trailer will be on hand making sure there is plenty of food and refreshments on hand. Proceeds go to the Headwaters Food Pantry in Land O’Lakes.
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.
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.