The Hodag to be known worldwideSubmitted: 06/15/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - The Hodag will soon be more famous thanks to a Canadian production crew.

C-M-J Productions is creating a documentary called Boogymen that features small towns with monster mascots.

Rhinelander legend has it that Gene Shepard caught the Hodag and displayed it at the 1896 Oneida County Fair.

Today more than 20 people participated in the reenactment of Shepard and his Hodag.

"Every time you hear about Gene Shepard, one of the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is that he reenacted this thing, the showing of the Hodag way back at the first Oneida County Fairs," said Jerry Shidell.

"And I thought it had to be fun then, let's do it now."

About a dozen people came to watch the fun.

Even one of Shepard's relatives came to see his family legend come to life.

"It's just been fun within my family. Growing up it was more of a family big deal," Gene Shepard's relative, Paula Barbian said.

"It wasn't real big in the area for years, but then it's really grown and grown. I just take a lot of pride in it."

The documentary won't be shown in the U.S., only in Canada.

But if it's picked up by a network in the united states, Rhinelander's legacy could be known nation wide.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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ASHWAUBENON - Early interest in the Green Bay Packers' proposal for an entertainment, retail and residential district around Lambeau Field has the franchise already thinking of expanding its plans.

The Packers announced recently it plans to develop the Titletown District on 34 acres around the stadium, including 30 to 50 townhouses overlooking a public plaza.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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