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La Crosse Winter Roots Festival returns with local music, food, and arts for a cause

This Saturday’s event at the La Crosse Center’s Riverside Ballroom and Terrace to celebrate “Wisconsin Favorites” and support Hunger Task Force.



Celebrate music, regional cuisine, artists, makers, brewers and distillers at The La Crosse Winter Roots Festival this Saturday at the La Crosse Center’s Riverside Ballroom and Terrace.

There will be live music from seven bands from a variety of genres, like classic rock, americana, country, funk, hip hop, bluegrass, and rock.

From noon until 6 p.m., there will be a free artist and maker’s market with over 20 local vendors.

In addition to a portion of the event’s proceeds supporting the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, there is a vast amount of raffles and auctions to help raise more money for the nonprofit from noon until 7 p.m.

The Remainders’ Andy Temte told Z93 that his wife Linda is on the board at HTF and has done a tremendous amount of work for the fundraiser.

“You should see our living room. I mean, it’s just stuff everywhere, all these baskets,” Temte said. “There’s over 70 of these baskets and these preconfigured items to come in and bid on.”

Items include not only local gift cards and baskets, but also a grill and a raffle for a Taylor acoustic guitar from Dave’s Guitar Shop in La Crosse.

The artist market and Hunger Task Force fundraiser is open to the public (all-ages) and free to attend.

Early entry to Saturday’s main event begins at noon with La Crosse Distilling Company’s Bloody Mary Experience and 70s rock from Pheonix.

The experience features their special Winter Roots “Gazi” Black Lager & Bloody Marys in a commemorative glass. Non-alcoholic options will also be available for the experience.

General admission begins at 1 p.m. and the Lavender Project bringing their alternative hip hop sound to the stage shortly after that.

Knee High July will play three different sets of their bluegrass folk rock on the side stage between main stage acts.

Chicken Wire Empire has their own take on bluegrass at 2:30 p.m. with Chris Castino from the Big Wu.

Originally formed in Milwaukee, and now out of Nashville, Ryan Necci & The Buffalo Gospel have a set for country fans at 3:45 p.m., followed by local legends, The Smokin’ Bandits with Gregg Hall at 5:15 p.m.

Before sitting in with TSB, Gregg will receive the festival’s “Deep Roots Award” for his “his outstanding support and service to live music in La Crosse and the Driftless region.”

Coulee Region favorites, The Remainders, are a sponsor of the event and will also play a set of their classic rock to close out the evening starting at 6:45 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets are available online here. Early entry tickets are $30 in advance and general admission tickets are $20. Both tickets will go up $5 at the door.

There will also be a special Friday Night Winter Roots “Ice Breaker” event at The Main in downtown La Crosse from 6 til 10 p.m. Featuring the music of Nobody’s Dope, Friday’s event is included with a Saturday early entry ticket or $5 at the door. Fest goers can try some exclusive variations of the distillery’s Barbegazi Black Lager. Their Orange Pistachio will be released at 7 p.m. Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter will hit glasses at at 8 p.m.

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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