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July 21, 2019

Contributed photographLady Antebellum will headline the 42nd annual Hodag Country Festival which kicks off Thursday just outside of Rhinelander.
Contributed photograph

Lady Antebellum will headline the 42nd annual Hodag Country Festival which kicks off Thursday just outside of Rhinelander.
7/11/2019 7:29:00 AM
Here for the party: Lady Antebellum to headline 2019 Hodag Country Festival

It's time to put on your boots and cowboy hat.

The 2019 Hodag Country Festival will kick off Thursday and the party will roll on nonstop until Sunday evening as some of country music's biggest names make their way to Rhinelander for the 42nd annual festival of fun and music under the sun.

One of country music's premier vocal groups, Lady Antebellum, is in the Saturday headliner slot this year. The band is known for such hits as "Need You Know" and "What If I Never Get Over You".

In a pre-festival interview with the River News, band member Dave Haywood promised a rollicking show at the Hodag.

"Come out if you want to have a party night, we can do that for you," Haywood said. "We have a lot of fun."

"It's exciting and exhilarating," Haywood added, referring to touring. "There's a lot of fun songs we've done in our career that make for great festival songs, and then we do some ballads, too."

The festival will open Thursday evening with Brett Westgrove, Northern Lights, Aaron Watson and three longtime favorites, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye, who tour together as Roots and Boots.

Friday's lineup includes Michael Ray, LOCASH and Old Dominion.

A jam-packed lineup will take the Hodag stage Thursday with Brandon Lay, Lindsay Ell, Shenandoah and Gary Allan setting the table for Lady Antebellum's show.

The festival will wrap up its four-day run on Sunday with Jake Rose, Terri Clark, The Marshall Tucker Band, LANCO and Mr. Hodag himself, Neal McCoy.

As has become tradition, McCoy will wring every last second out of the party with "The Shake," and "Wink," before this year's Hodag is "Going, Going, Gone."

The festival grounds are located at 4270 River Road, Rhinelander. Tickets are available at the gate. Cost is $75 for a one-day ticket, $140 for a two-day ticket. A children's daily ticket costs $30.

For more information, visit

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