RHINELANDER - Rhinelander residents love the Hodag.
Soon, they'll be able to see more of them around Rhinelander.
Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. auctions off Hodags painted by local artists every year.
DRI hopes to raise $10,000 this year.
That money will help DRI improve downtown Rhinelander.
"We're trying to create events. We're also trying to do economic restructuring and helping recruit businesses and retain the existing businesses. There's just an organization part where we disseminate information from our office. And there's a downtown beautification piece," says Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. President Mark Gutteter.
This is the first year artists will decorate mini hodags.
DRI decided to make the change after hearing from members of the community.
"The original Hodags were 7 or 8 feet long, and 6 feet tall. There was a lot of interest in those but they're not applicable to everyone - everyone's yard or in front of everyone's business so we had a lot of people interested in smaller Hodags. So this year's Hodag is about 2 feet tall, maybe 2.5 or 3 feet long," added Gutteter.
The Hodags will be unveiled and auctioned off at the Hodag Howl on October 26th.
DRI will auction off five mini Hodags.
Five others will be displayed at local businesses.
WABENO - Wabeno prides itself on drawing more and more people to its small community. It's doing things like building new trails and coming up with new events.
This weekend, the town will host the first ever "Wabeno Art and Music Fest". People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.
"The Wabeno Art and Music Fest, or WAM Fest, as we call it, is an outgrowth of the various art activities that have been burgeoning here in Wabeno over the last number of years," said Tim Friesen, a coordinator of the event.
WAUSAU - The name sounds scarier than most of the symptoms would suggest, but doctors take West Nile virus seriously.
This week, a dead crow in Marathon County tested positive for West Nile. The Marathon County Health Department reported the discovery Monday. Counties look mainly at crows, blue jays, and ravens to find the virus. It is spread mostly through mosquito bites.
PARK FALLS - Filling a downtown with businesses doesn't just happen overnight. Leaders in Park Falls found that out over the past six years, but slowly they're making progress. This year, the Park Falls Downtown Beautification Committee finished a plan to improve downtown.
"It's a very dedicated group, small group of people that just kept at it and at it and at it over the last six years until we came to the finished product," says committee chair Laurie Wagner.
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