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Start of winter being celebrated with outdoor party in Hixon Forest area



Wednesday is the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shortest day of the year in La Crosse, with just under 9 hours of sunlight. 

If you want to celebrate the winter solstice out in the snow, the Outdoor Recreation Alliance in La Crosse has a solstice party in the Upper Hixon forest on Wednesday afternoon. 

“We’re gonna have a bonfire” says Jed Olson, the director of ORA Trails. “If you can get yourself to Upper Hixon, everyone just kind of calls it the weather-ball trails, we’ll have a lighted trail.”

Olson says the 4 p.m. start for the event “seems early, but that’s when it starts gettin’ dark.” The earliest sunset of the year in La Crosse is at 4:27 p.m., which occurred for several days in the first half of December. Actual sunset in La Crosse on December 21st is exactly at 4:30, and it doesn’t get back to 5 p.m. until late January.

December 21st is the shortest day of 2022 in La Crosse, at 8 hours and 54 minutes of sunlight. On the longest day, in June, the sun is out for 15 hours and 27 minutes.

The Solstice event is in the Upper Hixon Forest area.  Jed says skiing and hiking trails are in good shape right now.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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