Hodag performers share thoughts on festival - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hodag performers share thoughts on festival

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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WAOW) -

Whether they've hit the Hodag stage in the past, or got a taste of the event for the first time this year, the artists had plenty to say about the country music festival.

"We're just excited to be here," said Randy Houser, who performed Saturday afternoon. "And thankful for everyone making us feel welcome."

The Hodag veterans were excited to return to Hodag, a staple of Rhinelander.

"We have so many stories about the Hodag," said Neal McCoy, who performs at the Northwoods concert every year. "It's our favorite festival by far."

Friday's headliner Billy Currington was also excited to return.

"It's something we've seen playing in the past year, it's pretty special," he said. "It's one of those events that gets put together every year, and you hear you're going to play that event, it's exciting."

Then there were the rookies, who may not have known exactly what they were getting themselves into.

"You know, playing at things like Hodag - well, I want to say 'like Hodag,' but it doesn't seem like anything is actually like Hodag," said William Michael Morgan, Sunday's opening artist.

Meanwhile, Frankie Ballard was in awe of the event's lawn chair display.

"I walked out...and I saw all the chairs and I thought it was The Rapture," he said. "I thought God had called all his children home and I was left behind."

The artists also enjoyed the idea of the Hodag itself.

"It looks very dangerous," said Ballard. "And the thing I like the most about this is that this guy with the banjo doesn't seem to mind he's riding on top this vicious, one-of-a-kind creature."

And Hodag rookie Brandy Clark was surprised to learn what the Hodag was.

"They had this cake with this creature on it, and I said 'What the heck is that,'" she said. "And they said ''Well that's the Hodag.' And they told me that the Hodag eats white bulldogs, so I wore a white jacket to protect the white bulldog."

This was the 40th annual year of the event. 

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