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Riverfest setup battles wet weather in La Crosse



Photo Credit: Riverfest

Continuous rain and rising river levels challenged volunteers preparing for Riverfest.

Water from continuous rain pooled by the construction area behind the band shell at Riverside Park, as well as behind the festival’s food and beer tents.

“We are on day five or six of setup, and I am pretty sure it has rained on every single one of them,” Derek Martin, Riverfest media director, said. “We are running pumps in the park to get it drained as quickly as possible so we can get all of us back out and getting done what needs to be done.”

With the river rising above 10 feet, above the no-wake level, water activities were also in question. Martin said he has been in touch with the water director. Nothing has changed for water events, yet, since there are none scheduled for Wednesday.

Festival organizers said they will wait to see what the weather brings.

“It if rains, as long as it is not a huge thunderstorm, we are OK,” Martin said. “If we start to see thunder and lightning again, we will evacuate the park and deal with whatever damage we have afterward and see if it is something we can reopen again right away like we did last year. Everything is crossed that we have a great weather year.”

Martin said they will keep festgoers up to date on the official Riverfest Facebook page. Opening ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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