Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander's Lights of the Northwoods display dazzles on opening nightSubmitted: 12/14/2017
Story By Lane Kimble

Rhinelander's Lights of the Northwoods display dazzles on opening night
RHINELANDER - A quick countdown and a quick snip of a ribbon Thursday night couldn't come soon enough for Shawn Will.

"It's just gorgeous," Will said.

The Lights of the Northwoods Vice President watched as Hodag Park lit up on a large scale with holiday lights for the first time.

"This is incredible," Will said, with tears in his eyes.


The idea came from similar -- albeit larger -- displays in La Crosse and Marshfield. Will and a committee of volunteers worked for hundreds of hours to put together their own holiday lights show at the Rhinelander waterfront park.

The group raised money to buy 50,000 lights to go on trees, then brought in community members and groups to put together the show, which Will considers a "preview" for future years. Wisconsin Public Service and Gaber Electric offered expertise and equipment to provide power throughout Hodag Park.

"This is one of those Field of Dreams moments, you know, if you build it, they will come and they are coming in droves," Will said.

A long line of cars waited at the park's entrance at 5 p.m. to drive through the show on the opening night. Committee member Erica Chariton says seeing that line made months of work and a previous weekend full of setup worth it.

"It's something that's been needed here for a long time and I am super excited for it," Chariton said.

In addition to the 50,000 lights on trees, the show features 32 individual ground displays. The show is free to enter, but food and money donations are encouraged.

"It means bringing the community together and that's the biggest thing," community member and Rondele Ranch employee Joe Boehlen said as he waited with his wife in line.

The event is drive-through only this year, but committee members are already thinking of adding a walking path next year.

"Bigger and better, more lights," Chariton said with a laugh.

For now, tens of thousands of lights and colors will work just fine for Will, but he knows a quick four-day show this year lights the way for an even bigger and bolder display in 2018.

"This is not the end, this is just the beginning to, I believe, a great tradition here," Will said.

The Lights of the Northwoods will be open each night this weekend through Sunday, Dec. 17. More information is available via the link below.

Related Weblinks:
Lights of the Northwoods website

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

PHILLIPS - The coronavirus took a toll on the Phillips community.

"It's been some very uncertain times here in the Phillips area, and as soon as these banners went up it was just a huge uplifting thing," said Stacie Prochnow of Phillips. "It's been great to be able to just show some respect for the veterans that are living in our area or have lived in our area and just to kind of boost our spirits in a very difficult time across the nation."

Stacie Prochnow partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to put up 18 banners of veterans past and present, all with a tie to the Phillips area.

They're also on the Chamber of Commerce website, where Prochnow wants to add pictures of the veterans' relatives under their banner. She's already taken her picture.

"We're standing underneath the banner that I had sponsored for my father-in-law," said Prochnow. "He was a World War II veteran in the United States Navy."

All 18 of the veterans sacrificed to put their country first, and to this day, they still inspire others in the face of hard times.

"It is just a wonderful opportunity for me to show my support for all the dedication that they have done over the years to support our country," said Prochnow.

The banners will be up until Veteran's Day.

You can learn about the honored veterans on the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce website.

+ Read More

MADISON - Republicans want to keep any legal battle over Wisconsin redistricting in the state Supreme Court, starting the legal fight over the redrawing of political boundary lines on Wednesday a full year before any new maps are created.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Amid concerns of COVID-19, the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, along with the Eagle River Business Association and VFW Post 8637, announced the decision to postpone the Fourth of July Parade, Fireworks, and Party in the Street until 2021.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry (RAFP) dispersed hundreds of boxes of food to community members Wednesday. A line of cars could be seen stretching from the pantry all the way to Home Depot.

Linda and Henry Delisle were some of the many waiting in line for their box of food.

"We've never done this before," said Linda. 

Normally, people qualify for the food pantry based on their income. But on Wednesday, anyone in need could come pick up a box of food, no questions asked. General manager Jane Motowski said it's all thanks to a program called 'Farmers to Families.'

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers say a man illegally entered Miller Park and caused minor damage to the playing field Tuesday morning.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHERN WI - The State of Wisconsin will start to take applications for money to help small businesses get back on their feet.

The 75 million dollar "We're All in Small Business Grant" intends to touch 30 thousand small businesses--distributing 2,500 dollars to each one.

The Oneida County Department of Economic Development says the money will be focused on all areas of Wisconsin including the Northwoods

"The great news is this is not a first come first serve program, it's done really by area and by need," director, Jeff Verdoon,said. "The aid will be divided up by region so we have a good chance for our businesses up here to be able to receive the money."

During the safer at home order, local businesses could apply for small businesses loans, but some had trouble getting approved--others couldn't qualify.

The Rhinelander chamber of commerce which will work closely with businesses applying, says this program is much different from other grants, executive director Lauren Sackett added.

"Some of those other grants require you to already have financial loans," Sackett said. "[The We're All in Grant] will also look at who has already received funding to try and determine essential businesses who may have been missed."

Unlike different programs that may have more restrictions and requirements, local businesses find this application process fairly easy.

+ Read More

RACINE - Five people, including three juveniles, were shot at a beach in Racine as an argument escalated to gunfire.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: