RHINELANDER - The annual Hodag Home Show made its way to the Rhinelander High School gym for the second time.
This is a good chance to come down and sample stuff without pressure from a sales man.
"It's a great chance to come in doors," said Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Event Coordinator, Kate Bauman.
"No matter what the weather is, no matter how cold it is still outside, to come out and see exactly what the trends are, what the new products are, what the new service are."
"A lot of people may not necessarily be interested in buying stuff here, but a lot of the local venders and stuff like to get their products out and get their names known," Sounds and Motion Manager Home Theater AV Specialist, Jamie Pender said.
"Show people stuff that they may not even know that are out there and exist."
Some people we met were just here to window shop. But one couple has some bigger plans.
"We've owned a lot in Rhinelander for ten years now and we figured it was time to build on it," said potential home builder, Gerry Goetz.
"So we thought we'd come to the show here and meet some of the builders."
There's even something extra for you if you shop till you drop.
"They see us doing the spinal screens and it seems like it kind of catches on and everybody is like what are you doing and all of a sudden a line forms," Allied Health Chiropractor, Dr. David Barr.
"Everybody is interested in chiropractic. It's a good time to explain to them that we're not just doctors for pain treatments. We adjust the whole spine for the function of the spine."
If you're not into gadgets, gardening or home care, the chamber added something new this year.
"Rhinelander Chryslers, Dodge, Jeep and Ram have signed up to be outside obviously. They've got cars and trucks for sale," said Bauman.
"They are happy to show off the new models and they will be happy to assist anybody who might be in the market for a new vehicle."
If you missed the event today, you still have a chance to stop by tomorrow from ten a.m. until three p.m.
"We've got stuff for the kids. Home Depot should be here again with the workshop for the kids, bouncy house for the kids," Bauman said.
"It's just a great afternoon with the family. There is absolutely something for everything."
RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.
But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.
Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.
Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.
"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."
Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.
"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.
FLORENCE - People in some areas of Wisconsin may take easy access to groceries for granted. People in Florence don't.
Last year, the USDA considered the Florence area a "food desert". There was no grocery store in all of Florence County, and it had been that way for seven years.
That's all changed. Pat's Foods has now been open for a year in town.
A vacant space in Florence looked like a slab of concrete with a roof a year ago. Now, Pat's Foods stays busy every day at the location. The full service grocery store supplies food and fresh produce, meats, and dairy. That convenience means people are shopping steadily at Pat's, and business is good.
FLORENCE - The Florence County Library looks much more appealing nowadays. That's thanks to thousands of dollars worth of hand-me-downs from southeastern Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee suburb of Cedarburg wanted brand new furniture and shelves for its new state-of-the-art library. Florence was pleased to take Cedarburg's unwanted shelving - and Florence got it for free.
"They provided basically all of the shelving that you see in our library for anything that's stacks, which is where the books are, on both sides of the library, along with the oak desks that you'll see in the back of the library," said Florence County Library Director Stephanie Weber.
LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk homeowner was able to scare off burglars back in March, even after being hit in the face with the hatchet. Now, a Merrill man will need to find $25,000 in cash to get out of jail.
28-year-old Chad Staehle was charged with four felonies for breaking into a home in Tomahawk. Police believe he and three other men broke into the home with a hatchet and crowbar.
EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults.
"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."
Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.
"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."
The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes. "You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel.
"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.
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