Call of the wild


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

HUNDREDS OF people watch “Clarence D’ Loon” help a young contestant in the annual loon call contest in downtown Mercer, Wednesday, during the 33rd annual Loon Day celebration. For more photos, see page 5.

MERCER, Wis. — Hundreds of people walked through downtown Mercer on Wednesday for the 33rd annual Loon Day celebration.

Vendors lined U.S. 51, as well as numerous side streets, selling a variety of homemade items, including jewelry, lawn decorations, clothes, food and more.

For Linda Barber, of Manitowish Waters, Wis., the event is personal.

“The loon is my favorite bird, so I always make sure to come here,” Barber said. “My house is completely decorated with loons.”

Barber has been attending the event for over 20 years and said that she loves to walk around and “people watch” during the event.

Local organizations, businesses and clubs sold food and beverages during the event, and attendees dined on meals to live music.

A popular food choice is the kettle corn, with many attendees munching on the sweet-and-salty snack around the craft fair.

According to Ironwood resident Vicki Oliver, this was her first time attending the event, and she found it to be different from what she had originally thought.

“It’s a lot bigger than I expected,” Oliver said.

Oliver said her favorite thing about the craft fair was “lots of Packer stuff” to choose from.

A big event is the loon calling contest in the afternoon. Over 30 participants lined up and tried their best to impersonate Claire D’ Loon. This year’s emcee was Clarence D’ Loon, Claire’s brother, and he helped kids and adults from all over with their loon calls.

Participants were from across the area, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and even Oregon.

As a new attendee, Oliver, she said she would recommend people attend the event in the future.

“Oh, absolutely.”

For more information about Loon Day, call the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce at 715-476-2389, or visit


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