Wisconsin News

2013 Oktoberfest Parade Marshals make fest history

Making history: the first two female parade marshals in one year

LA CROSSE, WI - For the first time in festival history, both Oktoberfest parades this year will have a woman leading the way.

The Maple Leaf and Torchlight parade marshals were revealed Wednesday at a ceremony at the southside fest grounds.

Jean Heyt Thompson is in charge of the Maple Leaf Parade, and Patti Lokken will marshal the Torchlight parade.

Thompson believes she is the first woman veterinarian in the immediate La Crosse area and is a big supporter of the Children's Miracle Network.

Lokken is a La Crosse native. You've probably know her best as a spokesperson and volunteer for Operation Homefront.

Both are very excited to take on the roles. "You know how sometimes you think about things and think, oh wouldn't that be really neat if I could be that one day or whatever, I never even dreamed that was possible that I could be this one day, I am so excited," said Lokken.

"I think it's even more exciting that both parade marshals are women. I'm really proud about that, and I think that's exciting for La Crosse that women are being recognized," said Thompson.


We're just over a week away from the start of the festivities. The Opening day of the Fest is next Friday the 27th.

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