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Set your sites on trying something new this weekend! Head over to the Conover Community Park this Saturday, February 15, and take part in a great time at the “Northwoods Blizzard Blast”. The town really goes out of its way to make sure there is something for everyone to like.
Kicking off all the fun on Friday, there is a three-day snow sculpting competition and entry fees are $25 per team.
On Saturday, from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, there are scenic sleigh rides, an artisan bazaar, ice golf, ice bowling, a youth archery demo and fun for kids.
Then at 11:00 AM there is an X-Country Fun Run (register by 10:30 AM). Beginning at 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM, a Northwoods original – Snowshoe Baseball! From 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM there is a Kids Dogsled Dash. At 2:00 PM join in on the Snow Shovel Races, 3:00 PM the Recliner Races and at 4:00 PM, it’s the Snowshoe Shuffle.
Also at 4:00 PM it’s the Snowflake Scrabble Drawing. It all comes to a head at the Trophy Presentation at 5:00 PM. Finally, around 6 PM, the day ends with a fireworks display. Some events do have a nominal charge. What a great way to get outdoors and shake off those cabin-bound blues! For more details, visit www.blizzard-blast.com.
Land O’ Lakes
Thanks to all the hard work of area groomer drivers, snowmobile trails are in good shape despite the snow drought of the last few weeks. The few inches in the last 24 hours has helped a little. So there is no excuse to head for the border and join in the Frosty Snowmobile Club’s “Radar Run,” based at Bent’s Camp on Mamie Lake on the Cisco Chain this Saturday, February 14.
There will be a Bikini Run (that’s three weeks in a row – Northwoods women are gutsy!), food, an Ice Bar, raffles and lots of fun!
Volunteers setting up the Cruiser Tent for this weekend - picture from Cross Country Cruisers Facebook page
Another weekend of speed and spectacular beauties is on the horizon as the Cross Country Cruisers present Cruiserfest in its 16th year on the ice in Minocqua. This year the site will be at Torpy Park to ensure there is plenty of safe ice for everyone who wants to participate. February 6 and 7 are the dates for the action-packed agenda.
Beginning Friday night, on the ice in front of Torpy Park, there will be a huge heated tent, a fantastic bonfire, food, refreshments and music.
A start time of 6:00 PM is slated for the kickoff Snowmobile Parade from Stacks Bay to the Aqua Bowl. Then at 7:00 PM the sky explodes with an awesome fireworks display.
Saturday, the Cruiser Tent opens at 8:00 AM and will be serving breakfast until 11:00 AM. Beginning at 11:00 AM burgers, brats and chili along with beverages are available until 3:00 PM.
Racing activities start at 9:30 AM with registration for the radar runs and races take off at 10:30 AM. The timing of all the runs will be recorded by the St. Germain Racing Club for the 30 classes held that day. The fastest time will be awarded the $750 purse.
Then at 2:00 PM, Slo’s Pub presents the 5th Annual Bikini Races. Funds raised by these brave snowmobile racers will go to the Pink Ribbon Riders and the trail fund. Divas SnowGear is the presenting sponsor.
There is more! In addition to thrilling race heats, there is also an all-day-long swap meet, vendors and a Vintage Snowmobile Display for participants to enjoy. Ever wonder what it’s like to ride in the cab of a groomer? This is the perfect opportunity to see what the trail looks like from a new perspective.
The highlight of the snowmobile season in St. Germain is fast approaching as the 2015 St. Germain Radar Run hits the starting lines beginning this Friday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Jan. 31. This thrilling event is presented by Discover Wisconsin and the St. Germain Radar Racers, featuring Diva SnowGear, First Place Parts and Fly Racing. This is the 13th year for this charity fundraising event.
Held on West Bay of Little St. Germain Lake, this event has come a long way from the beginning when the races consisted of snowmobiles and a radar gun. Now this two-day event sports a seven-class line up beginning with stock sleds all the way up to the Super Mod class which is a specialty class allowing for unlimited cc’s, full body, custom body and propelled by gas, nitro or turbo.
Friday afternoon, the Fly Racing Speed Runs will be held on the Thunderbird 1000’ of shaved ice or on the Twilight 600’ of groomed snow. Races start at 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM.
That evening, is Timber’s Bar and Grill, “Friday Night Under the Lights”. Weber’s Wildlife Gas Pump will sponsor a Shoot Out snowmobile ride leaving at 3:00 PM. All snowmobilers are invited to take part in Weber’s Wildlife Shoot Out drag races scheduled from 5:00-8:00 PM for $5 a run.
There will also be Radar Fun Runs open to the snowmobiling public at 5:00-8:00 PM sponsored by Straight Line Racing. A special feature at 6:00 PM will pit the 10 fastest snowmobiles in the Midwest against each other at the Snow Outlaw Drag Races.
Music will fill the air as snowmobilers shop the snowmobile vendors and warm themselves in the heated tent with food served by the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club from 12:00 – 8:00 PM.
On Saturday, Straight Line Racing Trophy Runs will be held from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM as well as Fun Runs. There will also be the 2015 Yamaha Demo Rides offered.
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. 11 vintage snowmobile racing featuring classic sleds from the 60s and 70s will compete in the Vintage World Championship.
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.