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.