WAUSAU — Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” will uncover the folklore, history and cultural significance of one of Wisconsin’s most legendary creatures, the horrible Hodag, at 10 a.m., Dec. 20.

Rhinelander historian Kerry Bloedorn, as well as reporter Keith Uhlig and guest host Rob Mentzer, both of USA Today Network-Wisconsin, will explore the origins of Hodag mythology. They also will examine the life and times of Eugene Shepard, whose Hodag hoax brought Rhinelander the attention it needed to survive changes in the timber industry, according to a WPR news release.

They will also discuss the continued significance of Rhinelander’s mythological mascot on Wisconsin Northwoods culture.

Listeners are invited to call 1-800-780-9742 with their questions about Hodag folklore.

“Route 51” airs on 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, and 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River.

Photo courtesy Kerry Bloedorn.