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Rhinelander restaurants enjoying the large crowdSubmitted: 07/10/2019
Devin Biggs
Devin Biggs
Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter
dbiggs@wjfw.com

Rhinelander restaurants enjoying the large crowd
RHINELANDER - Traffic got heavier Rhinelander last week when Hodag Country Fest campers started pulling into town. The traffic might be annoying, but businesses are loving it.

Friendship House on Lincoln Street has been serving a lot more hungry customers than normal this week thanks to the arrival of the festival. Chef Chris Hazelton doesn't mind working hard.

"It's good to be busy," said Hazelton. "It's the only way to be. That's why we're here. We're here to be busy. So, it's a good thing. We staff more cooks, our purveyors have to bring more products in, it's probably our best week out of the year."


Friendship House suggests you show up early in the morning or have a late lunch to avoid getting there during a crowded time.

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RHINELANDER - Tuesday, the Oneida County Public Safety Committee approved a large gathering permit for the Hodag Country Festival. Thursday, organizers said they're no longer going to have the festival.

In a message posted on the festival's website, organizers wrote: the safety of the Rhinelander community is more important than the festival.

Adding, "The possibility of having the Hodag Country Festival has created stress and division in the Rhinelander area, and we are sincerely apologetic for this. It was never our intent. The festival has always been about community. We have been here for 43 years, and have always supported the Northwoods area. Hodag hopes we can continue to have your support in the future."

Oneida County Health Dept. head Linda Conlon said her department is thankful for the decision.

"We do appreciate the difficulty of this decision on their part and in this time of uncertainty and it's important that we're all on the same page related to the health and well-being to our community," said Conlon.

Within the next 10 days, organizers wrote they will be emailing and posting instructions to request a refund or rollover for 2021.

Festival organizers wrote that they expect a strong return in 2021 and that their headline act this year, Darius Rucker, will be at Hodag next year. 

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According to the national weather service, the dam failed Wednesday afternoon along the Mosquito Brook Flowage,  just north of Hayward.

When the dam broke, water was sent rushing into a neighborhood, causing road closures and stranding homeowners on a dead-end street.

Some of the roads were damaged and some homes were cut off by the rushing water.

No word on any injuries or damaged homes.

The flash flood warning that was in effect Wednesday night is now simply a flood warning.

The Hayward area received nearly three inches of rain on Tuesday.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. - The launch of a SpaceX rocket ship with two NASA astronauts on a history-making flight into orbit was called off with less than 17 minutes to go in the countdown Wednesday because of thunderclouds and the risk of lightning.

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RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin State fair traditionally focuses on animals, family activities, music and more. The planning committee made it clear that their main focus this year is safety. 

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted Wednesday to mail absentee ballot applications to most voters in the battleground state ahead of November's presidential election.

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