The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mercer celebrates Loon Day

 

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

JEFF WILCOX, of Solon Springs, Wis., works on a spoon Wednesday in his tent at Mercer's annual Loon Day Festival.

By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

MERCER, Wis. - Yesterday was the first Wednesday in August and that meant once again, the streets of Mercer were packed with shoppers and revelers taking part in the town's annual Loon Day Festival.

Event organizers were pleased with both the attendance numbers for both vendor and visitors.

"We had all our booths completely filled, (all) 280 - some were doubles and triples, so we had about 250 vendors," said Chelcie Pinsonneault, executive director of the Mercer Chamber of Commerce. "I'm happy with the turnout."

After the hot weather the past couple days, organizers said Wednesday's cooler temperatures undoubtedly helped people come out and take part in the festival.

"The weather was absolutely beautiful - 70 degrees, you couldn't ask for a better day," Pinsonneault said.

Now in its 37th year, the day included a variety of food stands, vendors selling everything from hand-carved spoons and maple syrup to purses and art, as well as the standard Lakeland Barbershop Chorus and Loon Calling Contest.

Leah Cortwright, 12, of Wauwatosa, Wis., took home the bragging rights in the calling contest, winning the contest after finishing first in the seven-to-12 age bracket to advance and compete against the other bracket winners.

The other winners were: Age 1-6, Reese Carpenter, 5, Yorkville, Ill .; Age 13-17, Molly Hohner, 14, of Mercer; and adult division, Rita Wellman.

Pinsonneault said she feels events like Loon Days have a greater benefit to Mercer than just bringing in extra business on a particular day.

"For such a small town ... I think it's really important we have a large event like this that has been going on for so long and people look forward to," she said. "I've met people who plan their entire vacations around it, that plan (year after year) to come (to it).

"I think it not only helps the businesses economically, but it helps (people) see Mercer as a place people come, visit and have a great time and relax."

With the 37th Loon Day in the books, the chamber can now begin gearing up for its next big events - the Can-Yak Fishing Tournament in September and Pumpkin Run ATV-UTV Rally in October.

 
 

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