Eagle River hosts 5th annual Festival of FlavorsSubmitted: 07/13/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

EAGLE RIVER - Networking can make or break any organization.

Businesses need new customers.

And non-profits need new donors.

That's why the two groups combined to host the 5th annual Eagle River Festival of Flavors.

The festival raises money for the Eagle River Revitalization Project.

Eagle River Revitalization Program Director John Seward says, "A lot of what it's about is about fundraising for this park. And we've done about $10,000 worth of improvements to this park over the past few years, say five to ten years."

But they need to raise a lot more money.

Seward says the group has a page-and-a-half long list of improvements they still need to make.

Some of those improvements include adding permanent grills and renovating the historic fish hatchery.

The festival also helps the 40-plus Wisconsin vendors get their names out to the public.

People from all over the Midwest attend the event.

"We do pull quite a few people. A lot of people have been here year after year. They know it's a good product and a good event, and they continue to come over and over," says Seward.

Organizers expected 4,000 people to attend the festival.

Newswatch 12 was a sponsor of the event.

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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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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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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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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Lakes bring a lot of visitors here to the Northwoods, but they also bring scientists.

The UW Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction just wrapped up its summer research season.

The UW Trout Lake Station is a research station for limnology students at UW Madison. It's mostly graduate students and faculty from Madison's Center for limnology.

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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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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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