LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – One of La Crosse’s longest-running festivals is returning after a year away to celebrate a milestone anniversary.
First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff has the details on the return of Oktoberfest USA.
La Crosse’s Oktoberfest grounds were silent in 2020 because of the pandemic, but this fall the event will return to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Oktoberfest is scheduled to take place from Sept. 30th-Oct. 3rd.
2021 Oktoberfest President Kelly Wilde says attendees can expect the usual festivities that accompany the event.
“We’ll have our carnival, the grounds will be open, we’ll have the Torchlight Parade, we’ll have the Maple Leaf Parade,” Wilde detailed. “Gemutlichkeit will once again return to La Crosse, and the air will be filled with many Ein Prosits.”
Wilde adds that even through there are no COVID guidelines in place at this time, organizers will continue to have discussions with the La Crosse County Health Department.
“We’re of course going to follow any kind of health guidelines they give us, but as of right now it’s as normal as we can get it,” Wilde said.
The cancellation of Oktoberfest last year dealt the city another economic blow during the pandemic.
Oktoberfest President-Elect Mark Wemette says an economic impact study from a few years ago showed the festival generates more than $15 million annually.
“20% of the patrons that come have attended for the past twenty years, that’s huge, so you’re bringing in a lot of people from outside the area year after year after year,” Wemette detailed. “So with all the hotels, restaurants, and different events and venues to go to while they’re here, the impact is huge, so going a year without it definitely was felt.”
Wilde says the parade marshals will be revealed on September 15, and this year’s fest master will be announced on the 29.
In La Crosse, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.
I can already hear the shouts of prost! Wilde says Oktoberfest festivities will officially kick off on September 11 with the Miss La Crosse Oktoberfest pageant.
More details on this year’s Oktoberfest celebration can be found on the event’s website.