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Rotary Lights preparing for 25th Christmas in La Crosse

Brad Williams

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Light trees stand in La Crosse's Riverside Park, before they are put in place for the 2019 Rotary Lights display

A popular holiday festival in La Crosse marks its 25th year in 2019. 

The Rotary Lights display for this year in Riverside Park will start on November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, and continue through New Year’s Eve. 

The display of roughly 3 million Christmas lights is being assembled now in the park, which has been the site of bandshell construction and other projects for the past year. 

Fourteen area food pantries receive donations of packaged food from visitors to Rotary Lights. 

Organizer Pat Stephens expects the 25-year total of donated food items to hit the 4 million mark during the first few days of the 2019 festival.

Several area restaurants have volunteered to feed the workers who will staff the festival during 33 nights this year.

The 25th year Rotary display will include a large “animated tree” atop Grandad Bluff, helicopter rides over the park, and an anniversary banquet happening in late January.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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