St. Patrick’s Day of 2012 was very lucky for the Onalaska boys basketball team. The Hilltoppers became state champions of Division 2 at the Kohl Center by beating Kaukauna 55-38 in the WIAA basketball tournament. Another big number that Saturday was 83–the record high temperature set in La Crosse. The warm weather continued into Sunday, when the team returned to Onalaska High School and held its victory rally outdoors, at the football stadium. Onalaska continued its tradition of winning the gold ball in leap years, having gotten previous state titles in 1988 and 1992.
Oktoberfest organizers might have been wishing for some gold to pay a proposed parade fee to the city, for $18,000. The fest had announced plans to call off the Maple Leaf, Torchlight, and opening day parades because they couldn’t afford the fee. But the city and Oktoberfest began working out plans to have the parades as usual.
La Crosse wasn’t attracting a parade of candidates as usual in the closing days before the Wisconsin presidential primary of 2012. The biggest name candidate to appear in town the week before the vote was Rick Santorum, who bowled a few frames at South Lanes with local college Republicans while in the city. That same week, Viterbo hosted a speech by advice columnist Amy Dickinson and a one-man play starring impressionist Rich Little, in 2012, yesterday in La Crosse.