Townsend corn roast compliments Northwoods tourism

September 6, 2016



TOWNSEND (WLUK) -- The Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club is gearing up for a major celebration, and fundraiser in Townsend.

Under the shadow of a large green and gold tent, volunteers are getting ready for a busy Saturday.

"Tomorrow is our 10th anniversary of our annual Red Arrow corn roast," said Gary Wagner, Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club.

The corn roast is one of the club's biggest fundraisers of the year.

"To make our beautiful ATV trails, and wonderful snowmobile trails possible. Without support from the community, a lot of our equipment wouldn't be possible to own," said Wagner.

A typical corn roast can attract about 1,000 people, from as far away as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And that ties in, with what tourism officials are trying to promote for the area.

"A lot of people have told me, around here, they've had a very good, very good summer," said Kathy Rank, Lakewood Area Chamber of Commerce.

State tourism numbers indicate in the last five years, direct tourism spending is up about 20 percent in Oconto County.

"ATV, UTV, hiking, biking, fishing, just being out in the woods," said Rank.

Robert and Merry Schwindt are on vacation from Indiana.

"She's been talking about this for 20 years. Decided it was time for me to bring her up, and get it out of her system," said Robert Schwindt, Muncie, Indiana.

"I love the area, I want to see nature. We want to play McCauslin Brook, and maybe see the Wild Wolf Inn. I used to do the rapids there," said Merry Schwindt, Muncie, Indiana.

And as the Schwindt's head north, to join a long line of traffic, people in parts of the Northwoods say the season's time may be running short.

"Absoulutely, Absolutely. We're saying goodbye to summer, but actually we're saying welcome to autumn," said Wagner.

The celebration begins Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in Townsend, with an ATV parade to the corn roast grounds on State Highway 32.component-story-more_me

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