Country Fest regulars talk about camping traditionSubmitted: 07/12/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - Every year, Hodag Country Fest takes over Rhinelander for a weekend in the middle of July. For many of the tens of thousands of country festers, it's a weeklong event.

"I had a good time so I came back," says Betty Garrow, from Rome, WI.

That was 23 years ago. Now Garrow has one of the most coveted camping spots on the Hodag Country Fest fairgrounds.

"He says, 'I married her for that'. I brought him up here and then we got married the next year," says Garrow.

"No, we would have gotten married anyway. But you gotta tell these guys up here that I married her for this spot," says Weston Garrow.

Campsite claiming can be a cutthroat business. It's how the group next to the Garrow's became their long-time Hodag neighbors.

"Oh yeah, since I moved here they've been across from us," says Betty Garrow.

"Apparently two women who had these sites before, they forgot to call in in the time allotted. We happened to trade in our old spots for these. We met them one time out on the road. They were staring at the sites and said, 'those used to be our sites'," says Al Sadowski, from Stevens Point.

These Happy Hodagers obviously come for more than the four day weekend of music. They start camping the Saturday before.

"I think it's the people. It isn't so much the entertainers because they're all good," says Betty Garrow.

"All the camaraderie, all the fun with people," says Weston Garrow.

"We probably enjoy the beginning of the week best because the concert isn't really on, and you get more time to visit and catch up on old times," says Sadowski.

This group bonded so well they've even been to each other's children's weddings. And they have advice for this year's first-timers.

"Just have fun, I guess. Do whatever you want to do," says Betty Garrow.

"You'll see something you're never going to believe. Just take it as is and run, before you lose your eyesight," says Weston Garrow.

"Don't get too smashed, maintain your soberism, and just have a good time," says Sadowski.

Advice it might be wise to follow. These seasoned vets would know better than anybody the recipe for a "Happy Hodag".

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/08/2015

- Thousands of books, magazines and videos will move across Eagle River this week to a temporary home.  It'll help make space for nearly $3 million in renovations to the Olson Memorial Library.  What makes the project so special?  We'll explain tonight at 5.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - Pumpkin Fest celebrates fall in the Three Lakes. This year, a new event will emphasize the creative side.

+ Read More

WOOD COUNTY - Two people are in the hospital Thursday morning. Their vehicle rolled over in Wood county Wednesday afternoon.

The wood county sheriff's department responded to a one car rollover in the town of seneca just before 4:00 Wednesday afternoon.

+ Read More
2 injured in St. Germain crashSubmitted: 10/08/2015

ST. GERMAIN - Two people will recover from injuries Thursday morning. That's after a car crash in St Germain Wednesday.

It happened at the intersection of County Highway J and Highway 70. Both cars were turning left onto J. The second car hit the first during the turn.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - You can now call a trail in Crandon officially open. Project and town leaders had a ribbon-cutting for the trail opening Wednesday night.

Sean Spromberg, who was the project manager, says the trail can serve as a tool to build the community.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - When you think of school fundraisers, you usually think of selling candy or gift wrap, but one elementary school is getting more creative with the way it's raising money.

Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander started its first ever 'Strut for Fund' fun run Wednesday.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - A southern Wisconsin man faces charges for sexually assaulting a child.

Forty-eight-year-old Jay Uphoff is accused of sexually assaulting the child three times between 2013 and 2015.

He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here