LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Riverfest 2013 is officially underway in La Crosse.

The three day celebration attracts thousands of people every year.

On Thursday, the festival held it's opening ceremony that included the raising of the flag and paying tribute to the men and women who serve and have served our country. The commodore singers also led the crowd in the national anthem.

John and Linda Lyche, this year's commodore and first mate, say that is what Riverfest is all about.

"Talking about the 4th of July and the independence of our country is all about and its just one of those things that you just can't overstate. It's nice to have happen. It brings a right kind of tone to the celebration. It's a reminder of all that we have and all that we need to be thankful for," said the Lyche's.

Riverfest runs through Saturday.