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NEWS STORIES

Hodag Country Festival campsites openSubmitted: 07/07/2013

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Festival kicks off Thursday.

But some country music fans have already staked out their camping spots.

"Surprisingly for a 4th of July weekend, we've got a very large number of campers in here. We probably estimate about 40 percent of our 5,000 and some campsites are already set up," says Dawn Eckert, the festival's co-owner.

She co-owns the festival with her two sisters.

Eckert thinks the year-round work makes the event a success.

"Year-round we have 2.5 employees in the office. This isn't a business that once one's over we don't worry about it until the next year. It's year round planning, and with all the five of us organizers, it's definitely a part-time job year-round, and full-time for a few months out of the year," she says.

About 20,000 people attend each day of the four-day long festival.

They will have about 75 vendors at the grounds.

But local businesses also benefit from the tourists who come to the festival.

"Those people are all here enjoying the Northwoods, and enjoying this beautiful weather that we're having on the lakes, and boating, and golfing, and taking advantage of all the Northwoods has to offer," Eckert says.

Sixteen groups will perform over the four day event.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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PORT WASHINGTON - A Wisconsin jury has convicted TV actor Dustin Diamond of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but cleared the former "Saved by the Bell" actor of the most serious felony charge.

The jury's verdict Friday came just hours after the 38-year-old actor testified that he never intended to stab anyone in the fight last Christmas Day.

Diamond said he was trying to scare bar patrons in Port Washington after his girlfriend was punched in the face.

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