I’ve finally had the chance to catch my breath and relax from the weekend’s 42nd annual Hodag Country Festival. Part of the recuperation process was a heavenly massage (thanks, Char!) and cruising through the Hodag Insider page here on WHDG.com.
You don’t really know how much fun it all was until you actually sit and watch it. I absolutely love getting some of the talent out of their comfort zones and some of them do the same thing to me. Take for example one of my favorite Canadians, Terri Clark. I’ve chatted with her all five times she’s been here and this one was one of the best. Only Terri can get away with saying, “I put the ho in Hodag” on camera! I nearly lost it.
Getting the guys on the Roots & Boots Tour, (Aaron Tippin/Sammy Kershaw/Colin Raye) to give up their pseudo set list. Aaron let that slip. Great guys and one of the highlights of the show.
Then, there’s LOCASH. You never know what Chris and Preston are going to do so you have to be on your guard. This time I thought I was in control and their comment on partying was the perfect segway into bringing up a party bucket of Fireball mini bottles. Show management gave them to me and said to, “do something fun” with it. Now, it could’ve been fun to drop about 10 of them BEFORE the interview, but I thought better of that. So, the next best thing? Do a shot with LOCASH on camera. Why not? They’re typically pretty loose to begin with and this didn’t hurt anything. You have to watch the video to see their birthday greeting to our Al Higgins’ wife, Kristen. Hilarious. Parental guidance suggested! LOL!!
Giving the Hodag Virgin plates to all the guys in LANCO and to Lady Antebellum was a hoot as well. It really breaks the ice and we see who these performers really are. Both these groups killed it on the main stage. And in the, “It’s a small world” category…Lady A’s former drummer married my niece! They live in Hartford (where my brother’s the Mayor!). They say, “hi” by the way to Brian.
But with all that, it’s all the listeners that make this event the great time it is. We set a record for the Hodag Hankies with Lake of the Torches. The line stretched past the billboard at the top of the hill and more than 12,000 were doled out in less than five hours. The Brickner’s can coozies disappeared quickly as well and again, there were thousands.
But for me, it’s the comments that mean the most. For both Al and I and the Duffer, the kind words about what we do mean a lot and we thank you. And for Duff to be recognized on stage with Neal McCoy for his work on this event was the best. We’ve been the official station of the Hodag since 1998 and we thank the family who brings us this show for that.
So, take a little time and re-live the events and the fun at the Hodag on WHDG.com…we’re already counting down to next year.