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Cheers & Jeers

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Let the fest begin

Early festgoers began to fill La Crosse's downtown festgrounds on Friday, Oct. 1, to witness the tapping of the Golden Keg, an official sign that Oktoberfest has begun.

CHEER: To Oktoberfest board chairman Kelly Wilde, Festmaster & Frau Tom & Marilyn Tiggelaar, Mrs. Oktoberfest Ilene Kernozek, Special Fester Rylee Beahm and the rest of the Royal Family, and the many many volunteers and friends, for a grand return after a year away. Putting on La Crosse’s largest community event is challenging in normal times. It’s an extraordinary effort in COVID times, and we salute them.

CHEER: On a related note, we want to recognize the volunteer work and organizations involved in the big festivals of a La Crosse summer — Riverfest, Irishfest and Oktoberfest. Add in the Valley View Rotary’s Moon Tunes, which became a Thursday night must for so many in the community, and it was fantastic. All of these events came back from a dark summer, and they were outstanding. We think you’d have a tough time finding another city to host events of this quality all summer long. A big thank you to everyone involved.

JEER: To city officials for again turning away a developer who wants to put in housing. The latest is the project at the corner of King and 11th streets, which went through multiple demands and revisions and ended when the developer said enough. It is all fine and good for neighbors and council members and city officials to raise questions and concerns and be tough, but other cities work with developers while La Crosse refers the project with new expectations to meeting after meeting after meeting. There are losers in addition to the developer, and they are people who want to live in La Crosse affordably and need housing options, and taxpayers who will not see the city tax base expand — again.

JEER: To Facebook and serious allegations that the company knows its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that they tried to hide that evidence. To many, the whistleblower’s testimony this week was not at all surprising. Let’s see a show of hands — who enjoyed the calm and civility of Facebook being down for a few hours on Monday?

CHEER: To the Brew Crew for a great season, division championship and run to the playoffs. Now it’s go-time with a series starting at American Family Field with the Atlanta Braves. Can the Milwaukee Brewers follow in the footsteps of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks? Why not? For now, it’s “Claws Up.”

CHEER: To arguably the best time of the year. Fall colors, cooler temperatures, football and Halloween. Take time for a ride on Great River Road and enjoy the foliage.

Fest-goers do the polka ahead on day two of La Crosse's 60th Oktoberfest.

1991 Oktoberfest Festmaster, Karl Friedline, sings the German national anthem at the 60th Oktoberfest in La Crosse on Friday, Oct. 1.

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