2023 Senate Joint Resolution 3
Relating to: proclaiming February 20 to 26, 2023, as American Birkebeiner Week in Wisconsin.
Whereas, the American Birkebeiner, North America's largest cross-country ski race, was first held in 1973 and is held between Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin, each year where it contributes significantly to the economy in Sawyer and Bayfield Counties; and
Whereas, over 13,500 cross-country skiers and an estimated 35,000 spectators gather each February to celebrate and participate in the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation's annual Birkie Week of cross-country skiing festivities, which includes events for all ages and abilities; and
Whereas, over 350,000 skiers have participated in American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation races since 1973; and
Whereas, the American Birkebeiner is a uniquely American tradition and the sole cross-country ski race representing the United States of America within the Worldloppet Ski Federation; and
Whereas, the over 100-kilometer American Birkebeiner recreational trail was ranked the number one cross-country ski destination in the United States in 2016. This recreational corridor is utilized by an estimated 100,000 visitors annually and draws tourists to the northwestern Wisconsin region; and
Whereas, Hayward and the surrounding rural communities will host participants from at least 18 countries, 49 states, and the District of Columbia (in 2023) to join in Birkie Week festivities; and
Whereas, 2,500 volunteers from all points north, south, east, and west volunteer at Birkie Week events in support of the 13,500 competitors; and
Whereas, the American Birkebeiner is celebrating its 49th year in 2023; and
Whereas, the mission of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, is to conduct the finest international cross-country ski competitions, to serve as good stewards of the American Birkebeiner trail system, and to support a healthy and active lifestyle among people of all ages and abilities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature, in recognition of the importance of the American Birkebeiner and its contribution to the state of Wisconsin and its citizens, does hereby proclaim February 20 to 26, 2023, to be American Birkebeiner Week in Wisconsin; and, be it further
Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this resolution to the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.