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La Crosse Police ready for Oktoberfest, hoping for semi-quiet weekend

Drew Kelly

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PHOTO: Bob Good

One more day til Oktoberfest begins and two days until the tapping of the golden keg.

Downtown is expected to be filled with crowds, and the La Crosse Police Department will be helping assist partiers with their Third Street aid station once again.

Festers can find the station in the Subway parking lot at Third and Pearl streets. There, people can find water and cell phone charging stations.

Cooler temperatures and rain expected for Friday and Saturday. While it won’t curb all the problems with people partying early in the day and late, La Crosse Police Captain Jason Melby says it likely means less stress for law enforcement.

“Weather does always plan an affect on the type of crowds that come out, how long they stay out and how heavily they drink and ultimately correlates directly with some of the calls for service we deal with,” Melby said, adding the department will be getting assistance from the State Patrol to help with crowds both on Friday and also Saturday during the parade.

Melby also hopes people will be smart when drinking and deciding whether to drive or not.

“There’s been so much emphasis put on the availability on safe ways to get home,” Melby said, mentioning buses, safe ride options and all types of cabs like Uber and Lyft. “There’s no reason why, this Oktoberfest, someone should be drinking and driving.”

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.