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Triple Crown Festival Gets a Helping Hand, to be Held Here Aug. 11-13

June 23, 2017

Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo was once the horse racing hub of Wisconsin, and while flat-track Thoroughbred racing will likely never return to the area, a new event is honoring that history and hopes to create new traditions of its own.

The Northwoods Triple Crown Festival will highlight the best of Wisconsin's equestrian background Aug. 11 through 13, mixing food, memories, and, of course, friendly competitions.

This week, sponsors and representatives of the longstanding horse community were on hand at Black Hawk Hill Horse Park LLC when organizer Shaughn Novy accepted a $26,677 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant from Jeff Anderson, a regional tourism specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

"Langlade County is the perfect place to host an event like the Northwoods Triple Crown" Shaughn Novy said. "This allows us the ability to highlight our area's rich history of horse racing, training, and recreation by combining our northern hospitality with wild west entertainment."

The event, headquartered at the Langlade County Fairgrounds, will feature Wisconsin barbecue, professional bull riders and barrel racers, and various equestrian-related demonstrations. The three-day festival is expected to attract over 900 attendees, generating an estimated
$118,480 in visitor spending for the area.

"We're excited to support a brand new event that brings together classic rodeo events with Antigo's long standing history of horse racing and training," Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said."Events like Northwoods Triple Crown Festival show travelers what Antigo and Langlade County has to offer while making a positive economic impact in the community."

Attendees of the Northwoods Triple Crown Festival will be able to enjoy a Grill Masters challenge, a rodeo style performance of "Bulls and Barrels," mounted shooting and competitive barrel racing.

There will also be vendors displaying products related to northwoods fun such as fishing equipment, biking equipment and trail information. The fairground's livestock pavilion will feature demonstrations on topics related to trail riding, horsemanship, equestrian vacations and more.

Highlights will include:
—the Northwoods Grill Masters BBQ Competition, a sanctioned event, with prizes through fifth place plus a peoples choice award.
—equestrian clinic with Dr. Tecla Helmbrecht-Howard.
—barrel racing, mounted shooting and drill team demonstrations.
—Pro Bulls & Barrels professional rodeo.
—a Saturday night barn dance with Polar Project.
—and, on Sunday slot and youth barrel races.

As a special attraction, some of the families who were kingpins of racing in the northwoods will be back in town for a Friday evening picnic hosted by the Triple R Riding Club.

In 2016, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20 billion, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Tourism activity supports 193,500 jobs and the travel and hospitality industry has added 21,500 in employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents since 2010, a 12.4 percent increase. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Wisconsin taxpayers would need to pay $650 per household in order to maintain current government services. Business sales in Langlade County totaled $68.4 million in 2016, supporting 495 jobs and $4.5 million in state and local taxes.

In fiscal 2016, the Department funded 57 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state
can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining.

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