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.”
TAlso, the sloping terrain and the number of trees in Copeland have led to difficulties in setting up carnival rides there.
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.