Hodag Heritage Days to take center stage May 16-21
Schedule of festival events, specials, contest details
For the Star Journal
RHINELANDER – On the heels of National Travel and Tourism Week, Rhinelander – and anyone who loves the city’s mascot – will celebrate the Hodag Heritage Festival May 16-21. This is the second annual event hosted by the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce.
The week will feature art contests, scavenger hunts, Hodag decorations and swag of all kinds, videos featuring information about the Hodag’s heritage and citywide Hodag-themed retail items, foods and beverages available for purchase throughout the week. The week will end with a bang at Pioneer Park May 21. Featured will be a pancake breakfast, music by Hip Pocket, Hodag vendors, guest speakers, Hodag storytellers, the first-ever Hodag Calling Contest, a historical bus tour, kids activities and more.
The DRI Hodag Scavenger Hunt begins Monday, May 16 at Tom’s Drawing Board between noon and 6 p.m. A $10 donation starts the hunt for the Hodag, with a scroll containing the clue to the first Hodag medallion. Each medallion is located at a downtown business and will feature a clue to the next medallion. Be sure to ask the store employee for the medallion and take a selfie with it for proof. Find each of the 11 medallions and the last clue will send hunters to the final hidden trophy, a hand sculpted Hodag statue, created by Tom Barnett. Bring that statue – one of a kind – to Tom’s Drawing Board to be declared the winner.
Anyone can begin the scavenger hunt at any time between May 16-20.
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the “Hodags Throughout the City” scavenger hunt during the festival. An information sheet will be available at the chamber or on the website, instructing scavengers to locate Hodag murals and statues. Bring the completed form to the chamber by noon May 20 and receive a Hodag prize bundle complete with a Hodag flying disc, mini Hodag beach ball and Hodag keychain flashlight.
Hodag Calling contest
Ever heard a Hodag howl? Does it howl, or is it more of a grunt, bark or screech? Stop by Pioneer Park at noon May 21 for the first-ever Hodag Calling contest and listen to contestants do their best to perform the most original Hodag call. All ages and abilities are welcome. The winner will receive a Hodag Calling gold medal and a $50 gift certificate to the Hodag Store.
Citizen creativity will be on display with the Hodag decorating contest. Six inch statues are available to decorate for $5, or artists may create their own flat medium Hodag masterpiece, using this year’s theme, “Home of the Hodag.” Entries will be displayed at ArtStart. There will be prizes for adults and kids, awarded at the 10 a.m. Hodag Day ceremony May 21 at Pioneer Park.
Tour de Hodag
Get out an enjoy the beautiful countryside by participating in the second annual Tour de Hodag group bike trail ride. Val Foley will lead the group, departing from the Co. K Bearskin Trailhead at 5 p.m., Friday, May 20. Riders will bike three miles in and three miles back for an hour ride at a leisurely pace. All skill levels welcome; helmets required; wearing Hodag green attire is encouraged.
Wear Hodag swag Friday and Saturday and potentially win a prize. Wear a green tutu or some horns – anything and everything to show the most Hodag spirit, take a selfie and email it to [email protected] by May 21 to be entered to win $25 in Chamber Bucks.
Hodag Historical City Bus Tour
Never done before in Rhinelander, the Hodag Day festivities Saturday will include a free bus tour. The bus will depart from the lot behind the big tent at Pioneer Park at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. WHDG radio’s Al Higgins will narrate the tour as riders will learn more about the Hodag at every stop. Tour will take 35-45 minutes.
For more information, visit the chamber’s website.
Hodag Heritage Festival
Saturday, May 21, Pioneer Park
Pancake Breakfast ……8-11 a.m.
Park Historical Complex Open 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hodag Heritage Ceremony ……10 a.m.
Hodag and Cryptid Vendors ……10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bounce House and Activities ……10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Chad Lews, paranormal author ……11 a.m.
Beer Pavilion ……Noon-7 p.m.
Hodag Calling Contest ……Noon
Kerry Bloedorn, historian ……12:30 p.m.
Barnaby Jones (Paranormal Society) ……1 p.m
Historical Hodag Bus Tours 1, 2, 3 p.m.
Live Music: Hip Pocket ……4 p.m.
10-piece band playing classic rock, R&B and jazz
Hodag History Videos on stage throughout the day
‘All Things Hodag’ specials
Special foods, beverages and other items for purchase. Many are available during Hodag Heritage Week only!
• A la Mode: Hodag Macha Blend Custom Hodag Blend of Matcha Green Tea Latte. Available hot, iced, or as a blended smoothie
• Bath & Body Creations: Special Green Hodag Latte plus anything green in the store is 20% off
• Briar House: Hodag Latte Creme de menthe and white chocolate, available iced, hot or blended, plus Green Machine Lotus
• Butcher Shop Bake Company: Special Hodag-inspired cookie
• Child’s Frame Co: Offering Hodag prints and cards
• CT’s Deli: Hodag Grilled Cheese with Black Forest Ham and Maple Bacon Aioli, White Bulldog Sandwich with Grilled Chicken, Shepard’s Pie Soup, Green Beast Elixir Cocktail
• Culvers: Mint Hodag shakes, mint flavor of the day Saturday May 21
• Forth Floral: “Forth’s Hodag Bouquet” Available year round $52.95, stuffed animal Hodags
• Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe: Solid chocolate Hodag, solid chocolate Hodag medallion, Hodag poop (mint maltballs or sixlets), Rhinelander rocks, Hodag Paw (cashew or pecan, milk or dark), Hodag hats, Hodag enamel camp mug,, Hodag diner mug , assorted Hodag apparel, Hodag tails (caramel and chocolate pretzel rod).
Hanson’s Garden Village:
• May 19 6 p.m. Hodag Planter Class, call to schedule
• May 21 10 a.m. Hodag Planter Class, call to schedule
• May 22 11 a.m. Kids Hodag Succulent Planter Class
The Hodag Store: Hodag Root Beer, Hodag Beer and over 200 different Hodag items year round!”
Hometown Pharmacy: Offering 10% off anything green purchased during Hodag Heritage Week
Kids Korner Pizza (available all year):
• Hodag Pizza: Loaded with five meats, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, hamburger, and Canadian bacon
• Hodag Sub: As good as they myth! Piled high with ham, turkey, roast beef, bologna, pepperoni, hard salami, summer sausage, American and Swiss cheeses, lettuce, tomato and onion. Half or full size.
• Mel’s Trading Post: “Happy the Hodag” books, coloring books, stickers, apparel. All year round
• Metro Screen Printing: Hodag apparel, infant through adults, including t-shirts, coats, pants, hats
• Neverending BS Emporium: Variety of Hodag items
• Northern Grounds: Hodag Lotus, blue and red lotus energy with kiwi, topped with whipped cream
• Northwoods Embroidery: Apparel, plush, books and more
• Pioneer Park Historical Complex: Stickers, figurines, Hodag history books, vintage maps and more
• Rhinelander Brewing Company: Gift shop with a variety of Hodag gear, Hodag ales and lager
• Sali Winn Homemade Stained Glass Hodag: 10 by 24 inch, $250. Custom sizes available. 715-277-2319
• Tom’s Drawing Board: Offering Hodag shirts, statues, kids books, mugs, candles and more
• Trig’s: Hodag shot glasses, stuffed animals, jewelry, postcards
• Wickersham Jewelry: Custom Hodag pendant