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Hodag Heritage Festival

Saturday, May 18th, 2024 at Pioneer Park

It's the 4th Annual Hodag Heritage Festival!

BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR HODAG GEAR Saturday May 18th! The day will be filled with a variety of events held at Pioneer Park including a traditional pancake breakfast, the Hodag grand entrance at 10am, hodag calling contest, guest cryptid speakers, historical speakers, live music, hodag and cryptid vendors, food trucks, beer tent, free kids bounce house, kids crafts, kids book readings, hodag historical tours and more!

For more information please contact or call 715-365-7464.

All Day Activities

8am-8pm        Stage Performances: See Schedule Below
9am-6pm        Hodag & Cryptid Vendors
9am-6pm        Get Your Hodag Hunt Photo Taken
9am-3pm        Pioneer Park Historical Complex Open
9am-3pm        Hodag Art on Display
11am, 1:30pm, 3pm      Hodag Historical Bus Tours (Signup Below)
9am-6pm        FREE Bounce House
9am-6pm        Kids Crafts
9am-6pm        Kids Games with Food Pantry (Non-Perish. Food Donations Welcome)

hodag mascot and guy eating
Hodag Heritage
band outside
hodag mascot
Food & Drink

Saturday May 18th-Pioneer Park

8am-11am - Pancake Breakfast by the Rhinelander Masonic Lodge
9am-7pm   -  Variety of Food Trucks
11am-8pm  -  Beverage Tent (Water, Non-Alcoholic Options, Hodag Beer)
11am-8pm  -  Rhinelander Brewery Beer Pavilion

(We are no longer taking applications for food vendors for this event, we have reached capacity)

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Hodag & Cryptid Vendors & Exhibitors

Saturday May 18th


See some of the most unique vendors and exhibitors...all focused on the hodag or cryptid culture! Buy some hodag merch, see some hodag crafts, find some cryptid playing cards, and meet all kinds of experts on cryptids and the Hodag!

Do you deal with Hodags or the cryptid world? Join us by filling out an application!

Hodag Historical City Bus Tour

It's the one and only Hodag Historical City Bus Tour! This ONLY takes place during Hodag Heritage Festival! You have the ability to join the Hodag Historical City Bus Tour for just $5 per person! Hear from amazing tour guides as they narrate your tour to various historical stops around town. Learn more about the hodag at every stop! Tour lasts about 35-45 minutes. Start times are 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm. Click the links to reserve your seats! Any Saturday seats left the day of will be sold the day of on a first-come, first served basis for $5 cash by lining up by the bus stop.

NOW AVAILABLE: Join the VIP Hodag Historical City Bus Tour Friday, May 17th 6pm-7:30pm. For $40 per person you will receive a Hodag Heritage Festival T-Shirt, a Hodag Beer or Root Beer from The Hodag Store, and a ride on the Hodag Historical City Bus Tour narrated by non-other than local Historian and Pioneer Park Historical Director, Kerry Bloedorn. Kerry is widely known as a legendary Hodag storyteller and writer of the bus tour! This year the VIP tour will also be stopping for a photo op at the Hodag statue and a stop to join in the Hodag Historical marker rededication. Kerry is widely known as a legendary Hodag storyteller and writer of the bus tour! Join us for a one-of-a-kind experience you only get during the Hodag Heritage Festival!


Hodag Bus
Rhinelander Lodging


If you're visiting from out of town, there are plenty of lodging options in the Rhinelander area to book a stay. Choose from a variety of resorts and cabins, hotels, campgrounds and more! Visit to view options.

Hodag Heritage Fest lodging
All Things Hodag Items List 

May 13th-May 18th

Annually, we create what we call the All Things Hodag list for the week of the Hodag Heritage Festival. This list is made of food, beverage, or retail items with a Hodag theme that you can find in the Rhinelander area at local businesses.  You can pick up a physical copy at the Hodag Store or Chamber. Some Hodag items are permanent; some are for a limited time so hurry in and check out your local businesses. Hodags love it when you shop local! 

Stage Performances

Saturday May 18th

8am          Music by Brad Emanuel
10am         Hodag Grand Entrance
10:30am    Hodag Heritage Festival Presents: A Captured Hodag
11am         Kid's Hodag Storytime
11:30am    Jill Kuczmarski: Happy the Hodag
12pm        Hodag Calling Contest and Awards: ALL AGES WELCOME
1:30pm      Bill Vancos' Gene Shepard: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
2:30pm      Hodag Heritage Festival Presents: A Captured Hodag
3pm          Chad Lewis: The Life and Times of Paul Bunyan
4pm           Kerry Bloedorn: Hodag Evolution Through the Years
4:30pm      Art Contest Winner Announcement and Hodag Trivia
5pm          Music by Scott Kirby
6-8pm       Hypnotized: The Music of Fleetwood Mac

Logging Museum & Pioneer Park Historical Complex

Saturday May 18th


Pioneer Park Historical Complex (PPHC) is first opening for the season on Saturday May 18th for the festival. PPHC is seven museums in one. Visit May 18th or later during the summer to see Red's Sawmill, The Rufal Schoolhouse Museum, The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, The Rhinelander Fire Equipment Museum, Duke's Outboard Motor and Boat Museum, The Rhinelander Logging Museum, and the Rhinelander Railroad Museum.

Hodag Calling Contest

Saturday May 18th

High Noon - Mainstage

Have you ever heard a hodag howl? Join us May 18th for the annual Hodag Calling Contest!

All ages and abilities welcome. Get up and grunt, howl, bark, or call your way to the winner's seat! No need to pre-register, just head for the stage and get in line where we will give you your number and get your name! Judges will choose a winner based on originality. All ages and abilities welcome.

Art Contest

This year the Hodag Art Contest entries can be viewed just inside the Pioneer Park Historical Complex. Artists of ALL AGES with mediums of all sorts are entered into the same contest and one winner will be chosen by YOU! Each museum guest will receive one voting card to place in their favorite piece's bucket and one winner will receive an art metal and $50 in cash!

Join in the fun! Download the contest entry form here or pickup at the Rhinelander Chamber at 450 W. Kemp St, Rhinelander. We invite all artists of all abilities to join together in their love of the hodag!

Kids Activities 
Hodag Heritage Festival FREE kids activities May 18th - Pioneer Park, Rhinelander (1)
'Hodags Throughout the City' Scavenger Hunt

The week of May 13th and all year round

Take advantage of our chamber's traditional scavenger hunt around town. Pickup an information sheet at the chamber the week of May 13th, or print one here and have fun combing the city for Hodag murals and statues. Not all statues look the same so keep your eyes peeled! Bring your checked off form to the chamber any weekday between 8am and 4pm and receive a Hodag prize! You may also bring your form to info booth at Pioneer Park on May 18th for your prize!


Details of our Scavenger Hunt will be released closer to the event. Get ready for something exciting!

Hodag Heritage Festival Logo 2023

Event Partners

Entertainment Sponsors

Circle 1
Park City

Kids Activity Sponsors

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Hodag Bus Sponsors

CoVan 3c Horz
Diel Ins 1...Bus Tour Sponsor

Heritage Helper Sponsors

Hodag Kids

Friend of the Hodag Sponsors

Free Simple Modern Circle Design Studio Logo - 1

Media Partners

NRG Media
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