Iola festival adds skijoring to line up

CREATED Jan 29, 2014

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IOLA, Wis. (AP) -- A winter carnival in Iola has added a popular Norwegian activity -- skijoring, a sport in which a dog assists a cross-country skier along a track.

A Stevens Point Journal Media report says the event will be part of this weekend's Iola Winter Carnival. Competitors will ride with their dogs on a 3-kilometer course, wearing special harnesses that attach to the dogs' harnesses with a rope.

Mary Schwartz is with the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce. She says the idea came up because the skijoring is popular in Norway, and many of the carnival's other traditions have Norwegian origins.

The event will also include ski-jumping and an ice-sculpting contest. Schwartz says the free carnival generally attracts about 4,000 people.

Iola is about 20 miles east of Stevens Point.