The 58th annual Oktoberfest in La Crosse is this weekend. The festival draws more than 100,000 people to the city and the Police Department is in full preparation mode.
“We are bringing in extra personnel to assist us with this weekend’s festivities,” said Sgt. Tom Walsh of the La Crosse Police Department. “We have additional Wisconsin State Patrol Officers as well as several out of town officers that are going to be assisting a full complement of city of La Crosse police officers.”
The officers will be doing a variety of tasks throughout the four day celebration.
“A lot of it is on-foot patrol. We have our officers deployed out on the campus area as well as in the downtown area,” Walsh said. “We’re ensuring the safety of the Maple Leaf Torch run as well as the Maple Leaf parade, so we have officers assigned to any number of things.”
Along with police monitoring Oktoberfest, other officers will be taking care of city calls and maintaining their regular patrol.
In addition to other safety tips, the Police Department recommends that everyone attending Oktoberfest keeps their phones fully charged.
“If you’re going to be out drinking do it responsibly,” Walsh said. “Make sure that if you are drinking to have a sober driver and if you don’t have a sober driver, then let’s make sure that we are utilizing anyone of the number of services that are available–whether it be Uber, Lyft, or any of our cab companies here in town.”
The La Crosse Police Department knows that this is a weekend many look forward to. They want everyone to be able to enjoy the fest and to do safely.
One way they are preparing for the weekend is with their aid station.
“We’ll again have the Third Street aid station up and running at the corner of Third and Pearl streets,” Walsh said. “That’s there to assist with anything that someone may need over the weekend.”
The Third Street aid station is open from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Police Department recommends that groups use the location as a meet-up zone if needed.