RHINELANDER - Most Americans love hot dogs, fireworks and beer on Independence Day.
But another American love affair could be changing.
A new study from the University of Michigan says Americans are becoming less attached to their cars.
The number of registered cars, trucks, vans and SUVs has gone down since the recession.
But Travis Trickey has sold cars for a decade.
He says business at Rhinelander Toyota is on the rise.
"People are still apprehensive from the big swing from 2007,2008 and 2009, Trickey said. "People are looking more now trying to fit into their budget obviouisly, but they are still looking for vehicles that have gadgets and gizmos."
One likely reason for that is the Northwoods lack of public transportation.
The Michigan study says young adults are most likely to shun vehicles.
But Rick Kenoedler thinks that's on the car manufacturers.
"I think a lot depends on what the car manufactuers are producing," Kenoedler said. "If its something exciting, people get excited about it and want them. If they are just boring transportation cars, whats there to be excited about."
The number of registered vehicles peaked at 236 million in 2008.
The Michigan researchers say that number is likely to rise again because of the improving economy.
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.
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.
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.
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