The Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner (Birkie) honors the founder of North America’s largest cross-country ski race. The Birkie was the vision of Hayward’s own Tony Wise, who discovered skiing as a soldier in World War II in Germany. For skiers and non-skiers alike, museum visitors are transported back to the origins of the Birkebeiner through state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, a 3D Birkie Trail model, an electronic race scrapbook, artifacts include items from the King of Norway and Ronald Reagan, race films, photographs, and oral history stories as told by founding skiers, volunteers, and past staff. Youth can reenact the Birkebeiner legend by donning replica warrior & Inga costumes in front of a diorama of the Norwegian mountains. The museum is located at the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation offices at 10527 Main Street, Hayward, WI. Museum and store hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., year-round. Free admission.
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