CRANDON - One of the spectators at the Crandon Brush run today hadn't seen the race in 20 years. Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said she's impressed by the event's draw.
"You've got racers coming from all over the United States, yove got fans coming from all over the midwest and across the country and it's huge for tourism. Toursim is a 16.8 billion dollar industry in Wiscosin, and right here in Forest County, they are bringing them in by the thousands," said Klett.
Racing might not appeal to everyone but Klett says, don't underestimate the economic benefit this sport brings to the region.
"When you host an event like this, you think oh well folks are coming in for the races in Crandon, they're coming in for a couple days. Well, think about the hotel stays, the camping stays, people are fueling up. They're grabbing their coffee, they're buying their breakfast, their lunch, their dinner. You know they're not leaving here without a souvenir!"
Klett said racers she talked to remember every track they've been on, and most told her Crandon is their favorite. As for the spectators, she says Forest county's hospitality goes a long way in bring people back.
"They treat people first class, their customer service is great. So we know that not only are people coming here and spending their money, they're treated well, they're coming back and they're going to do it year after year after year."
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
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