Before thousands of people filled the streets to watch the parade on Copeland Avenue on Saturday, more than 2,000 athletes could be seen running down the same street for the annual Maple Leaf 5K walk or run.
The race started at Riverside Park in La Crosse and continued through the Maple Leaf parade route.
All proceeds from the event go to the YMCA's 2013 Strong Kids campaign.
The campaign helps more than 30,000 children participate in YMCA programs.
Organizers said the race was a huge success for the YMCA and the kids it will benefit.
"Huge day for us. Over 2,000 participants, a lot of money raised for our Strong Kids campaign, big event for us," Race Director Travis Pernsteiner.
Organizers hope to raise more than $350,000 from the race.