Fingers crossed for the American Birkebeiner

Fingers crossed for the American Birkebeiner

Local news, sports, weather presented by the WDIO News Team

Our very un-winter-like weather has already caused the cancellation of the 2024 John Beargrease sled dog marathon. Well there are other major outdoor winter events in the northland that may also be in jeopardy.

The northland economy depends on winter outdoor recreation and people are now starting to wonder about events like the annual American Birkebeiner cross country ski race in northern Wisconsin.

Ben Popp, the executive director of the Birkie told us on Thursday that they are going full steam ahead planning for a full and successful racing weekend this year. He quickly added however, that they also have back up plans for both racers and spectators to enjoy great activities no matter what the weather brings.

“We are not just trying to accommodate a few thousand people, we are talking upwards of 40,000 people with spectators and skiers combined,” Popp said. “We realize that this is a huge economic impact on our community so we’re really going to do everything we can to encourage people to show up because the light will be shining bright in northern Wisconsin come the end of February.”

This is also the Birkie’s 50th anniversary! The skiing spectacular is the largest cross country ski race event in North America and is still planned in the Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin area for Saturday, February 24th.