Historic Ski Event 2004

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Snow is not a concern for this year's annual American Birkebeiner at Hayward in northern Wisconsin this weekend.

Race officials say skiers this year have been able to use the 26-mile course between Cable and Hayward even before Thanksgiving. There's been a snow drought in recent years forcing Birkie officials to truck in snow from Superior and Duluth.

More than 6,500 skiers from 19 countries are schedule to participate in the cross-country ski event and more than 30,000 onlookers are expected in the area.

The Birkebeiner is Norwegian in origin dating back to the rescue of a infant member of Norwegian royalty by using cross-country skiers who trekked 26 miles to recover the child.