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Oktoberfest hosts big Friday crowds, after late-morning backup at main festground gate

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Many festgoers had a longer wait than expected to get into La Crosse’s Oktoberfest during the midday on Friday, because of an apparent internet problem which prevented security from scanning passes.

Lines formed on two sides of the main gate to the southside festgrounds around 11 a.m., while fest personnel worked on fixing the problem.

Oktoberfest staff scans event passes after an extended delay in screening on Friday morning

Some groups of people who didn’t want to wait around longer took off before the scanning problem was fixed.  The backup at the fairgrounds gate occurred during the opening ceremony, featuring the Tapping of the Golden Keg. 

Once inside the grounds, it was worth the wait for lots of festgoers. They filled the main beer tent and food areas, while enjoying entertainment such as singing festmasters on stage.

Oktoberfest singers, including past Festmasters, performed on the main stage on Friday afternoon

The biggest attraction of Oktoberfest, the Maple Leaf Parade, kicks off around 10 a.m. Saturday in north La Crosse, and winds its way downtown to the two bridges.

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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