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La Crosse park board votes down move of Oktoberfest carnival to Riverside Park for this year

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Oktoberfest might not have a carnival this year. 

La Crosse’s park board has voted against putting carnival rides in Riverside Park during the fest this fall, instead of at Copeland Park. 

One reason for the “no” vote was the short time available to plan for the carnival, with Oktoberfest just 10 weeks away. 

Also, board members like Todd Olson worry that Riverside might receive lots of damage from having carnival equipment there for several days.

Olson thinks there would be a lot more business downtown if the carnival moved to the riverfront, but “does that overweigh the overuse of Riverside Park, and the damage that will be caused? And yes, there will be damage caused. No one can deny that.”

The city has received complaints about safety and security from families who have attended the carnival at Copeland Park over the years.  Also, the sloping terrain and the number of trees in Copeland have led to difficulties in setting up carnival rides there.

Thursday’s vote leaves the door open for a change of venue next year.

The board would prefer to have more time to study the possible effects of carnival activity on the city’s most popular park.  A move to Riverside Park has been proposed as a way to provide better access to people who attend festivities at the main festgrounds nearby.

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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