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Guepfer and Jorgensen to reign over La Crosse’s Oktoberfest parades in 2022

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At an Oktoberfest celebration at Logger Field on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2022, Dave Guepfer was announced as the Maple Leaf Parade marshal, along with Mike Jorgensen as marshal of the Torchlight Parade.

Oktoberfest is now just two weeks away, and members of the fest royalty are starting to be introduced.

At a Logger Field celebration on Wednesday, Dave Guepfer was announced as the Maple Leaf Parade marshal, along with Mike Jorgensen as marshal of the Torchlight Parade.

The Torchlight, held on the north side of La Crosse, happens first, on Sept. 29. Jorgensen is a retired La Crosse firefighter, who grew up on the south side.

Jorgensen said he went to Central High School, “but when (his wife) Pennie and I got married, she lived on the north side, and that’s where we lived for several years, and then built a house on French Island, which is still north-sider to us.”

Mike and Pennie Jorgensen

Jorgensen learned about the honor in April, when he was visited by two former co-workers, who have been parade marshals themselves.

Guepfer retired this year, after 22 years as the La Crosse Center food and beverage manager. He’s been a fest volunteer longer than that, and says he likes everything about Oktoberfest.

“From the pageantry of the Festmaster’s Ball, to the parades, to the tapping of the Golden Keg,” he said. “I’m excited about getting to go to the school visits and the nursing homes. I’ve always wanted to do that part of Fest.”

Donna and Dave Guepfer.

Guepfer and his wife Donna have kept the secret about the parade marshal honor since May. The Maple Leaf Parade happens Oct. 1.

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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