Cowgirls and Gypsies- Salute to AmericaSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

EAGLE RIVER - We honor America every 4th of July.

We often celebrate with parades, picnics and fireworks.

Some Eagle River girls are taking time to honor our nation the entire summer, and they're doing it on horseback.

Jenna and Jessica team up to perform "Cowgirls and Gypsies- Salute to America"

The show features Gypsy Horses, Rex and Henry.

The horses are a rare breed.

Only about 4 thousand of them are in the United States.

Together they ride along to patriotic songs.

"We have the 'Star Spangled Banner,' which we have at the beginning to show that we respect our flag, and it's something that should be respected. Then we do, 'Proud to be an American', because we are very proud to be American, and then we do 'Color me America' for our finale," said Jenna Kukanich.

The girls and horses have been training together for 6 months.

This is the first year of the show.

"Watching them perform is just, amazing and to see that they really do love what they're doing is awesome," said mom Laura Bonson.

"Cowgirls and Gypsies" performed at the Vilas County fair this summer.

They'll be there again next year.

They are looking for more opportunities to perform.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THREE LAKES - A Northwoods priest may never experience a mass as large as he did this past Sunday. It was Pope Francis' final mass in the U.S. during his trip. Organizers predicted nearly 500,000 people would attend.

Father Bala of Three Lakes was able to make it to Philadelphia for the mass. He was one of a small group from the Northwoods who made the trip, and he said it felt like an extremely personal gathering.

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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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