The 2018 Kettlebowl Fun Day was a reunion of shorts for people who have been associated with the ski and recreation area northeast of Antigo for decades.
Joanne Kruger, a daughter of Ben and Ruth Mundl, who guided the early years at the facility, was on hand for the festivities and so was Bob Johnson, who won a ski race at the Fun Day in 1968, which was held exactly 50 years ago.
It ‘s a great place, Johnson said, saying that he and his brother, Mike, always enjoy returning to their home town and especially Kettlebowl.
There were others in the crowd. Dan Auner was there, and he and his wife, Marie brought his late mother’s jacket covered with patches that marked membership in the Langlade County Ski Club, dating back to the early 1970s.
The jacket and a collection of newspaper articles and photographs are historic treasures at the recreation site.
It was a true Fun Day at the Kettlebowl Ski Hill Saturday with a massive crowd
on hand for a touch of spring skiing as temperatures well into the 30s.
Shown in the chalet, Dale and Pat Peterson, who have been volunteers at the hill for decades,
Bob Johnson, an Antigo native visiting home for the festivities, Joanne Kruger,
whose parents Ben and Ruth Mundl were moving forces
during the formative years at the complex, and Mike Johnson,
another of the exceptional ski graduates from Kettlebowl.
In fact. Bob Johnson is noted today as one of the winners
in the Fun Day ski races at Kettlebowl 50 years ago.
The slopes and the chalet were filled to capacity for Fun Day on an ideal for spring skiing as temperatures went above freezing throughout the Langlade County area, and the sun was remarkably bright.
Dale and Pat Peterson were not skiing Saturday, but the Kettlebowl pioneers were on hand to offer support.
Work on the facility was started in 1956 and known as Kettlehole Bowl, which more closely reflects the geological structure of the area.
The promoters managed to get the Antigo Co-op Oil Association to donate two tractors to provide the power for the tow ropes and an idled Civilian Conservation Corps building from the 1930s was moved to the site to serve as the chalet.
The older building was replaced in 2005 by a modern facility and the site is now served by electricity — those tractors have been replaced.
Every winter, thousands and thousands of people ski the slopes of the hill that is a true community effort — which is still maturing after 62 years.