Colorful characters sprinkled throughout Hodag Country Fest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Colorful characters sprinkled throughout Hodag Country Fest

RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- When about 20,000 people get in one place like they do for Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander, there are going to be some colorful characters.

For some people, the spirit of Hodag begins when they get out of bed in the morning and decide what to wear.

"I woke up and said, 'Hey, it's my birthday. I'm going to rock these Daisy Dukes,'" said Sean Babino of Sheboygan. He says they were right on top of his drawer.

Then, they make breakfast. Babino and his friends tried frying some bacon and eggs on the sidewalk by their camp.

"Turns out they're not cooking," Babino said.

After that, a stop at the karaoke tent. Joe Meagher of Randolph was in the finals of the karaoke competition.

"I think they tell you you're supposed to picture everyone in their underwear, but I don't know about that," he said.

For one music lover, the concert is a tradition.

"They call me Hodag John because I've been here for like 12 years now in a row," said John Cervenka of Eau Claire.

Cervenka wasn't alone.

"Our whole group lives for this," he said. "We have a pretty good core group of 15-20 people every year."

For these festival goers, Hodag feels like home.

"There's no fighting," Meagher said. "Everybody's just like, 'Hey, how you doing? You become a part of a family, a Hodag family."

Cervenka simply said, "God bless America, and I love Hodag."

Kenny Rogers headlined the concert Thursday night, and more big-name acts like Darius Rucker and Kellie Pickler are scheduled throughout the weekend.
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