Connect with us


Mississippi River not cooperating, but Riverfest is officially open in La Crosse for 2024



A duck swims over the flooded levee on the Mississippi River at Riverside Park in La Crosse on July 1, 2024 (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

There may be high water all along the Mississippi, but La Crosse’s Riverfest is still open for celebration as of Wednesday morning.

The yearly summer festival which was launched in 1983 has been kicked off for 2024 with the traditional flag raising at Riverside Park, involving many past Commodores and their First Mates.

Past and present Riverfest royalty participate in the flag unfolding at opening ceremonies on Wed., July 3rd

The parts of Riverfest actually involving the waters of the Mississippi won’t be happening this year. Well, there’s just one part, really.

The River City Water Ski Team had to cancel its part of the show, because the Mississippi River is too high and is set to crest at 15 feet Wednesday.

Past events on the river haven’t happened in a few years, including flyboarding — where water jets on your feet simulate floating — and pole vaulting off a barge in the Mississippi.

“We actually have trouble finding a barge that we can rent, basically that business has taken off exponentially,” Riverfest board member Brad Pitel said. “So, when the barges are being used, we don’t have that opportunity.”

Cancelling events hasn’t happened often, and sometimes they’re not even river-related. In 2018, the July 4 fireworks had to happen on July 5.

“There was a massive storm that blew through with like 60-70 mph winds right through La Crosse,” Pitel said.

Riverfest runs through Saturday, with multiple big musical acts.

Josh Ross, Drake Milligan and Blue Collar 40 kick things off. The finale Saturday night is Country Line Drive. Check the full schedule of events here.

The stage is coming together on July 1, 2024, two days before the start of Riverfest in downtown La Crosse at Riverside Park (PHOTO: Rick Solem)
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *