Community Spotlight: Winter Festival Draws Hundreds Back To Hack
Hundreds of people headed to Hackensack for a winter wonderland festival. While many leave the area for winter, organizers were excited many wanted to come Back to Hack.
“What else do you do in the winter? Gotta get together and have fun!” said Dan Meier, a former Hackensack Chamber of Commerce president.
It’s a four day festival full of snowmobiling, ice fishing and fishing out those who are willing to jump in the lake.
“This is our first time doing it and we’ve got all of our family members, or some of them at least, to come out here and do it with us,” said Stasia Williams, a Backus resident.
Stasia Williams and her family are new to the area. They were excited to hear about the events, including the penguin plunge.
“I always wanted to do this so we saw it and were like, ‘hey, they’ve got one right up the road. Let’s do it,'” said Katie Williams.
Roger Jaycox stopped by the chili feed at the legion. He says he comes every year to the festival.
“I come in for the polar plunge, and then if the weather is decent, we ride snowmobiles in and then come back for the fireworks,” said Jaycox, a member of the legion.
One organizer says this is exactly what Back to Hack is all about.
“I think the goal and the purpose is to bring more people to the area. It’s a community event so it brings people together as a community,” said Narlah Hicks, the Hackensack Chamber Of Commerce coordinator.
While the activities are fun for the entire family, it also is bringing in much needed funds to the area.
In 2013, the penguin plunge raised nearly $11,000 for the Pines Area Medical Development Association. Bonnie Dupre says the festivities work better when area non-profits are involved.
“If they want to join in to the festivities and do something, we want them to benefit them as well,” said Dupre, the Hackensack Chamber Of Commerce manager.
While the chili feed benefited the legion, when people dropped by, they could put in their names for silent auction items. All of the items were donated to raise money for the Fourth of July fireworks.
“The community has been very generous with their donations and [we] truly appreciate every single one of them,” said Dupre.
New this year was a fish fry prepared by the Cass County Sheriff Department and held at the Hackensack fire house. Free will donations were accepted to help buy new equipment.
“We need a new tender tanker truck and we’re looking for monies for that,” said Fire Chief Tony Peterson.
Even the area businesses were helping each other, such as giving away movie tickets as a kids game prize.
“We’re totally about bringing the community together and having fun and working with everybody here,” said Linda McNamara, the owner of Birchwood Char House and Bar.