Thousands participate in Hodag Country Festival Chair Line - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Thousands participate in Hodag Country Festival Chair Line

RHINELANDER (WAOW) - The music doesn't start until Thursday, but the Hodag Country Festival is already buzzing with excitement.

Before music goers can enjoy the show, Hodagers first take part in a country fest ritual called the Chair Line.

"It's fun, it's a tradition you have to do," said Russ Sorano of Antigo.

With their lawn chairs in tow, people can stand in one of six lines, surrounding the lawn in front of the performance stage.

Festival workers randomly choose the order the lines will be allowed into the seating area.

Then, it's an organized scramble as people pick the best seat.

Organizers say about 12,000 people participate in the Chair Line event every year.

Some people say they've been waiting in line for hours just so they can get their spot.

"It's like a bunch of cattle, you got to stand in line before you get milked," said Sorano.

Hodag veterans say there's a secret behind the chair madness.

"I can't tell you a strategy because then everyone would know it," said Ken Glodowski of Custer.

But people say the wait is all worth it, especially when they secure that special spot.

"I like it, especially when you get lucky!" said Gerald Lang of Tigerton, who snagged a seat in the second row. "It's just great being this close."

His wife, Connie Lang, says she agrees.

"It's an awesome feeling because I know I'm going to be right up front with the performers," said Lang.

Hodag Country Fest kicks off on Thursday night, with Kenny Rogers and Craig Campbell each taking the stage.

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